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Disadvantageous situation of tribal women and children of Orissa, India: a special reference to their health and nutritional status
Authors: Agrawal S
Source: Journal of Community Nutrition & Health, 2(1):3-14.
Topic(s): Child health
Maternal health
Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2013
Abstract: Background: Orissa, one of the most scenic states in eastern India occupies a unique place in the tribal map of the country having largest number of tribal communities with a population of 8.2 million constituting 22.3% of state’s population and 9.7% of the total tribal population of the country. This study aims to explore the health and nutritional disadvantage among tribal women and children in Orissa in comparison to non-tribals. Methods: Data on a representative sample of 4,540 women (comprising 955 tribal and 3,585 non-tribal women) and 1,599 children (426 tribal and 1.173 non-tribal) from the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3, 2005-06) for the state of Orissa was used. Simple bi-variate analysis has been applied and a disadvantage ratio was computed for key health and nutritional indicators for women and children. Results: Tribal women as compared with non-tribal women were 2.3 times more illiterate, 2.5 times more likely to bear a child by age 19 years, 2.1 times more likely in not receiving 2+ Tetanus Toxoid injection during pregnancy and 2.7 times more likely to have 4+ children, 1.3 times more likely to be underweight and anemic and were 4 times more likely to never/occasionally consume milk/curd or pulse/beans. Tribal children of Orissa were 2.6 times less to receive any vaccination, 1.4 times more anemic, 1.6 times more underweight and had 1.3 and 1.8 times higher risk of infant and under five mortality compared to non-tribal children. Conclusion: These finding calls for urgent implementation of special health care strategies for reducing health and nutritional disparities among the tribal women and children population of Orissa.