Venkatashiva B Reddy, Yadlapalli S Kusuma, Chandrakant S Pandav, Anil Kumar Goswami, Anand Krishnan
Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Introduction: Over a period, tribal population has migrated to cities in search of livelihood. Data on various health problems of the tribes are sparse. Sugalis constitute the third largest tribe in Andhra Pradesh and have settlements in urban areas. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of malnutrition, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infections (ARI) among under-five children of Sugali tribe living in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh state in South India. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in four community blocks/mandals in 2012. A total of 500 Sugali households with under-five were identified. Demographic details, episodes of diarrhea, and ARI among under-five children and treatment/care seeking behavior were collected from mothers/care givers by interview. Nutritional status was assessed using new WHO standards. Results: Of the total 669 children in these 500 households, 343 (51.3%) were girls and 326 (48.7%) were boys. In the last 1 month, 21.4% (18.4-24.6) reported diarrhea and 51.6% (47.7-55.3) reported ARI. The prevalence of underweight, wasting, and stunting among under-five children was 32.7% (29.1-36.4), 18.3% (15.3-21.4), and 38.3% (34.2-41.9), respectively. Majority (70%) sought treatment for illness in modern system of medicine and only few continued with the practice of herbs and traditional medicine. Discussion: Despite living in urban area, the tribal children had high prevalence of malnutrition, diarrhea, and ARI, though lower compared to other tribes in India possibly due to improved access to health care services. Efforts need to be strengthened for social inclusion of tribes into mainstream.
Keywords: Acute respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, malnutrition, scheduled tribe, treatment seeking behavior.