Tribal health cause for concern

A tribal woman undergoing medical test at Nagoba jatara in Adilabad. -Photo: S. Harpal Singh   | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH;S. HARPAL SINGH - S_ HARPAL SINGH

When doctors at a health camp at Nagoba jatara on Saturday found Athram Bheembai of Daboli in Jainoor mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district showing conditions of hypertension, they were taken by surprise. Her’s was the rarest of cases among Adivasis in the area with high blood pressure.

Their way of life has kept the aboriginal tribes safe from health conditions like high blood pressure and disorders like diabetes. However, it may not be long before they develop health issues which are common to non tribals and people in urban areas.

The staff manning the health camp at the tribal fair pointed out that they were used to treating Adivasis only for minor ailments such as headache, stomach ache and seasonal fevers. Finding a 50 year old Raj Gond woman with high BP was a first for the staff who give daily health checks to about 50 patients on an average at respective primary health centres. “Malnutrition is the main reason for the ill health of the ethnic people, especially from the Raj Gond, Kolam, Pardhan and Thotti tribes of the undivided Adilabad district. Having almost lost their traditional food crops, these tribes have been deprived of their customary balanced diet for long,” opined Adilabad District Medical and Health Officer Dr. Thodsam, himself a Raj Gond tribal, as he dwelt upon the subject of tribal health. “Most women display only anaemia and this deficiency becomes the root cause for contracting other diseases,” pointed out the Additional DM and HO for Agency area Dr. T. Prabhakar Reddy. “However, the death of Athram Manku, an aboriginal from Bheemjiguda in Utnoor mandal owing to spread of gangrene in the lower limbs and the unknown cause of gangrene damaging a finger of a five-year-old in the family has made us sit up and take note,” he added. The ITDA Agency has launched a health survey in all tribal hamlets. “We will get the survey result towards the end of next month. It will help us chart a clear course with regard to health of Adivasis,” the MHO hoped.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:20:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Tribal-health-cause-for-concern/article17110917.ece

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