Human Development Index for Tribal Healthcare

The Adivasi Academy began the Prakriti Heatlthcare Programme in the year 2000 with the aim to address health problems among adivasis, more specifically that of sickle cell anaemia and tuberculosis. Adivasi areas have little access to healthcare and there are not enough health workers available. Hence there was a need to look for approaches outside the clinic and hospital setting. The Academy decided to achieve this through community participation and providing need based healthcare.

Under the Prakriti programme, both general and specialized health camps are held in the tribal villages. The camps are held after an initial survey of the health status of the village, its proximity to the local primary health center and need for medical intervention. These camps enabled doctors to identify and address serious cases of accidents, heart, cancer, tuberculosis and sickle cell. The health camps organized under Prakriti are meant to fulfill the immediate medical needs of the adivasis and nomads; and thus serve as means through which the Adivais Academy can carry its message of health care to these communities.

Since the camps could not allow follow up in cases requiring continued treatment, the Academy set up a clinic on its campus in 2003 to provide regular healthcare. The clinic has covered more than a lakh patients from villages in the area. The health problems dealt with include sickle cell anemia, orthopedic cases, urinary tract infections, general surgery, neurological cases, leprosy, skin diseases, eye problems, diabetes and gynecological disorders. Prakriti uses both modern allopathy and traditional medicinal knowledge of tribals.

The Academy has instituted a Certificate in Rural Healthcare Training and successfully trained community paramedics, many of whom are successfully working in rural healthcare institutions.

The presence of Prakriti has greatly improved the health status among the tribals in the area. Awareness of healthcare and health rights has greatly improved the functioning of the local government health centres. Viewing that health delivery mechanisms are in place in the area, the Academy now proposes to collate data of other organizations working for tribal healthcare to prepare Human Development Index for Tribal Healthcare.