Tribal Health In Shambles: Dr Purohit

Ujjain 08.12.2018. India ranks 145 among 195 countries in terms of healthcare accessibility -behind Bangladesh and Bhutan. It is well known that health is an interplay of a number of social, political, cultural, environmental and genetic factors. Health is an under- discussed matter, both for the country’s political class and a significant section of its civil society. Discussions on health-related problems of tribals, minorities and Dalits are even rarer, both in the corridors of power and within the educated social class of the country. Tribal communities lag behind the general population on most health parameters. It is important ,then, to identify the missing links in this sad story of tribal health in India – reveals Dr Naresh Purohit – Advisor, National Tribal Health and Family Welfare Programme in his recently presented scientific study titled ” Depressing Health Care Scenario In Tribals” at the national seminar organised by the Indian Institute of Management , Kolkata.
Principal investigator and author of the study Dr Purohit averred ,” According to the 2011 census, scheduled tribes form 8.6 percent of the country’s populations. Many of these tribes lives in the most inaccessible geographical regions of the country.
Speaking to blue eyes, researcher Dr Purohit explained that access to healthcare depends on a number of factors of which female literacy is an important determinant-it is instrumental in shaping a group’s healthcare seeking behaviour. According to the 2011 census, the female literacy of scheduled tribes is 56.5 percent , this is almost 10 percent below the national rate and is one reason for tribal groups doing poorly on health parameters. Financial insecurity is another major cause of the ill-health of tribal people.
It is no accident that majority of hunger deaths reported in the country in the past five years happened to be members of Scheduled Tribes.
“The poor health of an ethnic group is very often a result of the exclusion of that group from a country’s national imagination.This holds true for India’s scheduled tribes as well. Ending the marginalisation of tribal communities should then be at the heart of all government & civil society efforts to improve the health of people from tribal communities “averred Dr Purohit.
Dr Purohit suggested in his study that improving the health of scheduled tribes requires a multi-pronged approach. However, honest attempts at inclusion-politically, administratively and socially- should be behind all such endeavours.

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