Health profile project in tribal Ashram schools starts

The Tribal Welfare Department is starting a Health Command Centre to conduct health screening for over one lakh children studying in Ashram schools and hostels. It has tied up with a healthcare company — CallHealth Service Pvt. Ltd. — for its ‘
Giribala Arogya Raksha
’, and has started touring the tribal areas for health screening.

“Once tribal children join our Ashram schools in 5th class, they will be under the care of the department till they complete 12th class. As they spend about about seven to eight years in the schools, it becomes imperative for the department to take care of their health too,” Principal Secretary, Tribal Welfare Department, B. M. D. Ekka said.

Early detection

A card detailing the health profile of every student will be prepared and given to them when they leave the school. The health cards will be helpful in detection of any underlying disease or health condition for early treatment. So far 1,539 students under the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) of Utnoor, Bhadrachalam, Eturnagaram, and Mannanur, have been given such health cards.

The initiative to prepare health profiles was taken up for the Ashram schools for the first time. Pioneered in the Scheduled Caste Development Department, it was later replicated for the students of the residential schools — for ST
and Minorities’ Residential schools. There are 319 ST Ashram schools in the State with 94,000 children and 149 hostels with 25,000 children and 85 residential schools run by the Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society with 25,000 children.

The Tribal Welfare Department, in collaboration with Women and Child Development Department will also formulate an action plan to take care of the tribal population, particularly women and children affected with sickle cell anaemia.

SCD action plan

A survey was taken up under the Government of India initiative two years ago to identify the number of people affected with SCD (Sickle Cell Disease) in the Agency areas of Telangana. Tests were done in the Agency areas and the data was collected but no measures were taken to act on the data.

The State government officials who attended the recent meeting convened at Delhi raised the issue about the survey, the need to take to its logical conclusion and requested for funds. The Centre said it was the State’s responsibility. Tribal Welfare Department had a nodal agency meeting recently and it was decided that the Tribal Welfare and Women and Child Development departments would formulate an action plan. The Centre finally chipped in with Rs. 1 crore.

So far 1,539 students under the ITDA, Utnoor, Bhadrachalam, Eturnagaram, and Mannanur, have been given health cards.

B. M. D. Ekka

Principal Secretary, Tribal Welfare

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