A school Assembly hall in Jaipur, India

A school Assembly hall in Jaipur, India

Jaipur Centre

Phase OnePhase TwoPhase Three
Centre:Jaipur, India ( Indian Sub-Continent )
Principal Investigator:Professor Virendra Singh
Age Groups:13-14, 6-7Timeframe:April 2001 to October 2001
Sampling Frame:Randomised sample selected all schools of Jaipur city.


Professor Virendra Singh

Pulmonary Medicine Division
SMS Medical College
C-93, Shastri Nagar



  • Phase Three Principal Investigator for Jaipur

Almost a decade back an advertisement was published in the journal of association of physicians of India asking investigators to participate in an international study aimed to assess load of asthma and allergic diseases in childhood. Asthma is a disease which usually starts in early years and symptoms affect the child intermittently. An asthmatic child has to undergo cycles of well again and sick again. These cycles disrupts blissful childhood and the patient bear the twin agony of disease and apprehension of ‘sick again’ phase. I was interested in asthma research but during those days data of disease burden in India were scanty. Therefore I immediately volunteered to participate in the study. When our center was selected I realized paucity of funds in the study. But Indian Asthma Care Society provided us deficit resources.

We focused on the methodology of the study. ISAAC manual proved very useful in that. It provided stepwise solution of the problems encountered in the task. We contacted school administration and had mixed reactions. Some principals of the schools were very enthusiastic for participation while other’s response was cold. The children were curious when questionnaires were distributed to them. Collection of completed questionnaires from parents in 6-7 yrs age group was a difficult task. Our workers had to go to schools many times to get the questionnaires. Video questionnaire in age 13-14 yrs age was quite interesting experience. “I am like that, when sick” - was the usual response to the video. But sometimes children got confused and would say, “I get wheeze and cough but not so severe as shown in video”. After completion of the study the task of double entry of data was quite exciting. Our data entry person used to say “Why to waste double time when I am confident of entering data accurately”.

At times we faced difficulty but coordination and support from the International Data Center was excellent. Major publications of Phase Three centers are now in print and we are realizing burden of asthma and other allergic diseases. The ISAAC meeting during the ERS provided an opportunity to interact with international colleagues of the study. Interesting publications showing relationship of asthma and allergy with paracetamol, vehicle pollution and environmental tobacco smoke are now known because of ISAAC.

In the end I wish to express my thanks to ISAAC committee and would like to say that the ISAAC undertaking was an exciting and pleasant experience down the memory lane.