Malaria prevention with the help of tribal drummers – Odisha

The Hindu, BHUBANESWAR, April 26, 2012

With the tribal population in forest regions in southern and western districts of Odisha continuing to be at risk of malarial attack, the State government has decided to rope in ‘dakua’ (drummers) of different tribes to spread awareness on this highly prevalent vector-borne disease.

Every week these ‘dakuas’ will beat drums and put their oratory skill in specific tribal dialect for disseminate information on precautions to be taken for preventing malarial attack. They will be paid Rs. 50 per hour for offering their service. The innovative awareness programme in tribal areas will begin from June. “District authorities have been asked to identify the ‘dakuas’ in their respective areas and prepare training module for them. We have sufficient fund with Gaon Kalyan Samiti to execute the programme,” said Madan Pradhan, Deputy Director (malaria) in State Health and Family Welfare Department, here on Wednesday.

“After years of focussed intervention in anti-malaria programme, we have realised that many tribal communities are unable to understand Odia language and hence remain ignorant about the killer disease. We hope drummers who talk in tribal dialect will be received well by the primitive tribes,” said Dr. Pradhan.

Strategies chalked out

Sources in the Health and Family Welfare Department said, “Strategies have also been chalked out to persuade ‘disharis’, tribal astrologers and priests who have strong standing in tribal communities, not to stick to traditional method of healing malaria. Once tribal population start reposing faith in modern medicines, half of the problem will be solved.”

A majority of the population at risk of malaria reside in southern and western Odisha. Districts in these areas are tribal-dominated with higher forest coverage, rivers, streams, hilly terrains, inaccessible and hard to reach areas, and forest-fringed areas. These districts contribute more than 80 per cent of the malaria cases and 64 per cent of deaths to the State total. […]

Source: The Hindu : NATIONAL / OTHER STATES : State plans innovative anti-malaria campaign
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Date Visited: Tue May 01 2012 09:52:27 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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