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Epidemiological profile of pediatric pilgrim patients coming to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra in Jammu

Virender Singh,Deepika Dewan,Simran Deep Singh,Tania Kakkar,Rajat Gupta.


Background: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is visited by lakhs of devotees from India and abroad every year and the number is swelling every year. Since the inception of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (1986), the number of pilgrims visiting the temple has increased from 13.96 lakhs in the year 1981–1986 to 78 lakhs in 2017 and is possible only due to very efficient and pilgrim-oriented management of Shrine Board.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to study the epidemiological profile of pediatric pilgrim patients coming to Community Health Centre (CHC), Katra, and thereby suggest precautions which should be taken by the pilgrims.

Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of 1 year from August 2017 to July 2018, in the Pediatrics Section at CHC, Katra, District Reasi, Director Health Services Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. All pilgrims up to the age of 18 years with any type of recent ailments were included in this study. The detailed sociodemographic details present history and past history were taken and complete physical examination was done. The patients were categorized on the basis of diagnosis and managed as per the protocol. If necessary, patients were referred to higher center for further evaluation and management.

Results: Of total 14,400 children who came to pediatrics outpatient department of CHC, Katra, 435 were pilgrims from all over India and abroad. Majority 144 (33%) pediatric pilgrim patients were from Uttar Pradesh followed by 98 (22.5%) from Delhi. Birth to 3-year group was the most common group suffering from ailments followed by 3 years to 6 years group. The most common complaints with which these children presented were related to gastrointestinal system and respiratory system. Less common complaints included allergic rash, insect bites, injuries due to fall, abnormal body movements, and monkey bites.

Conclusion: Children up to 6 years are more prone for illnesses, particularly those

Key words: Pediatric Pilgrims, Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra, Travelers, Diseases

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