'Health Collaborative' launched to end preventable deaths in tribal communities

NEW DELHI: To address the tribal health challenges in India, the Centre on Wednesday launched a first of its kind multi-stakeholder Tribal Health Collaborative (THC) committed to ending preventable deaths in the tribal communities.
Starting with 50 tribal aspirational districts THC would help to accelerate TB activities and achieve Indias target of TB Elimination by 2025 through the launch of Jan Andolan for TB along with focus on addressing key determinants like alcohol dependence and under-nutrition in tribal areas.
Over a 10-year period, the work of the THC will be extended to 177 tribal Districts as recognised by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Called Anamaya, the THC is an initiative of the ministry of tribal affairs supported by Piramal Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
In coordination with the ministries of tribal affairs, health, women and child development, Ayush and Niti Aayog, THC will converge efforts of various government agencies and organisations to enhance the health and nutrition status of the tribal communities of India.
This Collaborative brings together governments, philanthropists, national and international foundations, NGOs/CBOs to end all preventable deaths among the tribal communities of India. It aims to build a sustainable, high-performing health eco-system to address the key health challenges faced by the tribal population of India, a statement from MoTA explained.
The roadmap laid out by MoTA for THC states that it is proposed to establish 500 Primany Health Centres and 100 Community Health Centres and incorporating it in the state Pprogramme Implementation Plans over the next 2 years.
It is also proposed to launch the Sickle Cell Disease plan in June. Besides plans for integration of 5000 tribal healers with the health system there are plans to establish a tele-medicine facility through 740 EMRS in the remotest tribal blocks.
MoTA is also setting up a Tribal Health Cell which will work in close partnership with the ministries of health, Ayush and state governments to facilitate the strengthening of primary healthcare systems and invest in tribal health research. A National Tribal Health Council with MoTA and ministry of health as co-chair and representatives drawn from various ministries is also being set-up for stepping up monitoring of implementation of the tribal health action plan.
Minister for tribal affairs, Arjun Munda highlighted that there was need to move away from the approach of talking about the tribal and work for the tribals based on their needs. He shared that the tribal health action plan and the Collaborative were steps to build on the inclusive approach. Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan made a strong appeal that THC must focus on TB so that India can reach its goal of a TB Free India.
Women and child development minister Smriti Irani said that the tribal people of our country are facing challenges of health and nutrition. The collaboration between government and non-government agencies to address this challenge is a very welcome decision.
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