Distribution of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) medicines and nutrition supplements to pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children below five years, was launched at Semmedu village in Kolli hills on Thursday.
Project Director for AYUSH-Isha Organic Health Systems and Isha Outreach K. Sekar told The Hindu that the Rs. 3 crore pilot project would run for a year and expected to improve the haemoglobin level of women in the hills by 75 per cent in the first six months.
It could be extended for two more years based on the successful outcome, he added. The distribution was launched following a 10-day survey among nearly 350 pregnant women, lactating mothers and adolescent girls of that region using a haemoglobin meter that shockingly revealed that a majority of them were highly anaemic.
According to him, 28 staff would go door-to-door and constantly monitor and distribute the tablets and supplements to nearly 33,500 women residing in 247 villages on Kolli Hills.
“This joint effort of the Isha Outreach and the Government functionaries in Kolli block was sure to bring the best results to improve the health status of mothers and children of this tribal block”, he added.
The project's management committee member Dr. P. Krishnamurthi said that medicines prescribed under this project were harmless and were traditionally used for good health practices, but were now awaiting a revival.
Tablets that would be distributed by the staff to beneficiaries of different age groups are: Annabedi Senthooram, a tablet to improve the haemoglobin level; Thiripala chooranam to prevent infections and constipation; Sathavari Lekiyam for women during the 10th month of pregnancy and lactating period; Ulunthu Thailam during the last trimester of pregnancy and after delivery for quick resolution of the uterus; and Sanjeevin,i a supplement specially prepared for pregnant mothers with additional iron content.
The distribution drive is an important component of the AYUSH-Isha Organic Health Systems, a pilot project launched under the aegis of Isha Foundation's branch Isha Outreach.
Supported by the Union Government's Department of AYUSH functioning under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it is aimed at reviving the traditional health system to improve the health of mothers, adolescent girls and children in Kolli hills through natural medication.