India has 104.5 million tribal populations contributing to 8.63% of national population. Scientific advancement and implementation strategies are far from the reach of the tribal community.
In view of this situation,Department of Community Medicine of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is launching the project, “Improving the Health Care Access and Quality in the Context of Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) among Scheduled Tribes: An Implementation Research” in Ramtek block of Nagpur district. The project is sponsored by Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR). Under the project, initially a baseline assessment will be carried out to understand the health needs of tribal populations and various barriers in accessing health care. Further, public health infrastructure available in the district and bottlenecks faced in providing health services in Nagpur district also will be assessed in detail. Based on the baseline assessment, appropriate interventions will be designed in due consultation with people and other stakeholders. The intervention includes capacity building of staffs and gross root workers, reviving the community-based organisations such as Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee in health related activities, improving the supply chain and referral linkages etc.
Due to difficult terrain and lack of access to all weather roads, time to travel and time to consult the doctors is exceptionally high among tribal population. Hence, their health status is jeopardized across all stages of life from new born to senior citizens. There is a strong disparity of Health indicators in terms of maternal and child health morbidities and mortality, nutritional status, utilisation of health services. As a result, the already vulnerable economically poor population further pushed down to below poverty line due to high out of pocket and catastrophic health care expenditure.