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The history of the Department of Community Medicine is closely linked to the History of Medical College Trivandrum which goes back to 1951, when the institution was established with minimum infrastructure. Very soon it grew to become one of the most prestigious institutions in the entire country and the department of Community Medicine stands out from the rest of the departments to tell its tale of triumph. The department of Community Medicine, Medical College Trivandrum owns the proud privilege of being the first of its kind in India.

Established in 1953, the department was spearheaded by the then director of public health, Dr. Krishnan Thampi. Our department along with other departments of this college conducted an innovative community survey of the disabled, in collaboration with the Loyola Institute of Sociology. Another important landmark, was a study of social factors relating to demography and family health. This study evolved as a national model for adoption in India and abroad.


Worth mentioning is the Indo-Norwegian Medical Health unit, which was situated in Neendakara, Kerala. It gave proper exposure to the students about community life in villages. This project also contributed a lot to health education programs, family welfare, child health activities etc. Dr. A.R.Sundaram, Dr. K.P.Joseph, Dr. Chithra Gopalan. Dr.C.P. Madhavankutty, Dr. Molly Philip, Dr. Elizabeth Vargheese, Dr. K. Lathika Devi, Dr. K.Leelamoni, Dr. K. Ushadevi, Dr Girija, Dr Jeesha. C .Haran, Dr K.R. Leela Itty Amma succeeded Dr Krishnan Thampi as the heads of the department. Presently the department is headed by Dr.K Vijayakumar.

Field training of the students has always been one of the major activities of our department. To begin with, a Primary Health Centre was established in July 1953 at Cheruvikkal as a field practice area, which was shifted to Pangappara in 1964. Initially interns training were conducted at Indo Norwegian MCH unit Neendakara. At present ten primary health centers of Thiruvananthapuram District are utilized for the training programme.

The academic activities of the department include teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in community medicine. A postgraduate diploma course in Public Health was started in 1962, and ours is the only department presently having such a course in the whole of India. Later on a post graduate degree course was also started in Social and Preventive Medicine in 1975. In addition to this, our faculty takes up part time teaching and training assignments for BSc Nursing. BSc MLT, D.Pharm, M-Phil and PGDMCH Course under IGNOU.

The service programmes of the department consist of Preventive clinic , Local OP , RNTCP OP, Swasthya Clinic, Pain & Palliative Clinic, Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic, Hospital Sanitation, Disaster Management Unit, Medical Camps, AIDS Surveillance etc.

  • The department has also been functioning as Sentinel Surveillance unit under National-Programme for the control of Blindness.
  • A Regional Cell for Prevention of Epidemic and Infectious Diseases (PEID) is functioning in the Department with a Professor of the Department in charge.
  • A professor of the department is in charge of the State PEID cell
  • The Statewide Iodine Deficiency Disorder Survey in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi and ICCIDD was a challenge successfully completed by the department.
  • National level Vitamin-A and IFA supplementation evaluationprogramme was also boldly undertaken.
  • The Department played a key role in the decentralization process of the state by providing guidelines and assisting manpower development in the health sector.
  • The department is collaborating with the total sanitation and health mission with a view improve the sanitation and health situation of the state.
  • Presently our department is involved in the ModernisingGovernment programme of the Government of Kerala.
  • The senior faculty members of the department serve as resource persons and consultants for the government of Kerala and other voluntary bodies in the field of public health and allied specialties.
  • The department over years has created interdisciplinary Innovations in medicine academics.
  • The Head of the Department of Community Medicine is a State Level Consultant to the National Aids Control Programme and Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP)
  • The Head of the Department and the Associate Professor of Entomology are members of State Rapid Response Teams (RRT)
  • A coordinating Centre for IPEN ( INDIA CLEN Programme Evaluation Network) studies is located in the department with the Associate Professor of Medico-sociology as Project coordinator.