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MALNUTRITION & OTHER HEALTH ISSUES - STATUS PAPER
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 663-672

Burden & pattern of illnesses among the tribal communities in central India : A report from a community health programme


Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Village and Post Ganiyari, Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), India

Correspondence Address:
Yogesh Jain
Village and PO-Ganiyari, Bilaspur 495 112, Chhattisgarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159582

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Tribals are the most marginalised social category in the country and there is little and scattered information on the actual burden and pattern of illnesses they suffer from. This study provides information on burden and pattern of diseases among tribals, and whether these can be linked to their nutritional status, especially in particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) seen at a community health programme being run in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh States of India. This community based programme, known as Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) has been serving people in over 2500 villages in rural central India. It was found that the tribals had significantly higher proportion of all tuberculosis, sputum positive tuberculosis, severe hypertension, illnesses that require major surgery as a primary therapeutic intervention and cancers than non tribals. The proportions of people with rheumatic heart disease, sickle cell disease and epilepsy were not significantly different between different social groups. Nutritional levels of tribals were poor. Tribals in central India suffer a disproportionate burden of both communicable and non communicable diseases amidst worrisome levels of undernutrition. There is a need for universal health coverage with preferential care for the tribals, especially those belonging to the PVTG. Further, the high level of undernutrition demands a more augmented and universal Public Distribution System.


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