Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-86

Community-based occupational/environmental health studies: The challenges and the dilemmas

United Nations Development Programme, Orissa, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajan R Patil
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN House-II, 256, Forest Park, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa - 751 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.27307

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Occupational/environmental health studies present phenomenal operational challenges to execute as per protocols due to their peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. Unlike in infectious diseases, where there is genuine desire for disease eradication by the affected communities, in environmental/occupational health studies, the dynamics are totally different, with vested interest groups working hard to maintain status quo. There are dimensions of economic dependence, politics, fear, suspicion, pressure tactics, intense lobbying, etc, that make community-based studies related to occupational/environmental health aspects very difficult. It's not that the communities affected due to occupation/environment are not concerned about their health, but their participation is very tentative in nature; in the face of slightest risk, they would rather want to play it safe and withdraw, for their economics is at stake-not to forget vested interest groups who could go to any extent to sabotage any good work in favor of affected communities.


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