In 2010, former HSPH student and former PUKAR Senior Research Coordinator Sima Shah completed a study of health care providers in the Kaula Bandar community. This study found that, while eight out of nine health care providers in the community were trained in non-allopathic methods (i.e., indigenous traditions such as Ayurveda or Unani medicine), nearly all of these providers practice allopathic medical care, in which they have no training. These practitioners are frequently visited by representatives from pharmaceutical companies (“medical representatives”), who provide “education” to these health care providers regarding particular products. This entire system may result in inappropriate prescribing of more expensive or unnecessary medications to community residents. Such practices may increase the risk of adverse outcomes to society, such as increased antibiotic resistance.
***An abstract from this project was accepted for a poster presentation by HSPH student Sima Shah at the 2010 International Conference on Urban Health in New York: View Poster