A health camp conducted for tribal children at Theppakadu has revealed high prevalence of anaemia among them.
The health camp, conducted jointly by the Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA) and the Health Department, was organised after multiple incidents of fainting and nausea were reported among school-going tribal children in the areas surrounding Theppakadu over the last few weeks.
During the course of the health camp, more than 50 children, between the ages of 13 and 19, mostly girls, had their blood samples tested. The children belonged to the Irula, Kurumba and Paniya tribal communities.
R. Vijaya, co-ordinator, NAWA Child Fund Livelihood, said that of the children and young adults tested, most were found to be anaemic, having haemoglobin counts far below than the normal count a healthy teenager should have.
“Four children were found to be severely anaemic and in need of immediate intervention by doctors,” said Ms. Vijaya.
Doctors and healthcare professionals, who were at the camp, said that lack of proper nutrition was the primary factor that had led to the high prevalence of anaemia among the tribal children.
“If left untreated, the children could contract serious illnesses as they mature, while women can face problems during child birth,” said Ms. Vijaya, adding that NAWA and the Health Department were to provide medication free of cost to the affected children.
They also plan to organise more camps periodically, to keep tabs on the children and how their health is improving after getting treatment.