Water and Health Research

University of Jaffna has entered into a memorandum of understanding with University of Manchester, UK to conduct medical research on the “Impact of increasing salinity in groundwater on human health.” Under this MOU University of Manchester has provided funding of 9,500.00 GBP to University of Jaffna.

The salinity of drinking water affects human living standards, health, socioeconomic conditions, and overall livelihood. This study helps to determine the relationship of water salinity with hypertension and its selected risk factors and quality of life among adults in Karainagar and Nallur divisional secretariats. This is an analytical cross-sectional study with a mixed-methods approach that consists of quantitative, qualitative, and laboratory research work. The study population is non-institutionalized residents of 6 months or more in the particular age division of 35 years and above. The quantitative method is carried out through household surveys, and the qualitative study is carried out through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Laboratory methods include water analysis (pH, electric conductivity, salinity, and sodium concentration) and urine analysis (sodium concentration). The study population is made up of permanent residents of the respective divisional secretariats. The study participants were recruited using a multistage cluster sampling technique in Karainagar and Nallur DS divisions. This community survey was initiated on June 19, 2023.

Focus Group Discussion at Karainagar

Focus group Discussion was held on 13th August 2023 at fort hammenhiel resort. Community center representatives, school principals, farmers, teachers, and Grama Niladhari (GN) joined the discussion at Karainagar. They expressed the challenges faced by water salinity issues. We discussed the causes and possible solutions to their challenges. In addition to this, they expressed the challenges in transport, school dropout, and unemployment.

Meeting regarding the data analysis of the Water and Health Project

A meeting focused on the data analysis of the water and health project was convened on September 16, 2023, commencing at 8 a.m. This meeting took place at the Conference Hall, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna. The primary objective of this gathering was to delve into the preliminary findings of a survey and recurring themes pertaining to community involvement and engagement activities associated with the Water & Health project. Prof. Mahesh Nirmalan (Vice Dean for Social Responsibility and Public Engagement, Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health, University of Manchester), Dr. S. Kumaran (Senior Lecturer, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UOJ), Mrs. Thevahi Gnanakarunyan (Head and Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences), research fellows of the Centre for Digital Epidimiology, and data collectors presented to the discussion.

During the meeting, Ms. Kajani presented the findings related to data analysis, and Dr. Shribavan elaborated on the CIE activities conducted in Karainagar and Nallur. Notably, Prof. Mahesh Nirmalan provided insightful suggestions to enhance the quality of the analysis and the project’s overall outcomes.