Acknowledgements

           The ‘Research Unit’ is grateful to Dr Prabhakar Kore, MP, Chancellor, KLE University and Chairman, KLE Society, Belgaum and the Members of the Board of Management of KLE Society, Belgaum for their unstinted support and constant encouragement to its endeavors. Heartfelt thanks are also due to Dr H B Rajashekhar, Director, Health Science Institutions of KLE Society for his contribution to the development of the ‘Research Unit’. Sincere thanks to the Belgaum District Health Officials for being willing and enthusiastic partners in all of the research projects. The Ministries of Health, Govt. of Karnataka and Govt. of India and the Indian Council of Medical Research deserve special thanks for providing statutory approvals for the research projects. Finally, none of the accomplishments of the ‘Research Unit’ would have been possible, but for the trust reposed in it by the funding agencies and the collaborating universities and research institutions. The ‘Research Unit’ acknowledges their benevolence.