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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Letters to the Editor

Author(s): Dr. Bastian T.S.

Vol. 25, No. 1 (2000-01 - 2000-03)

Dear Sir,

I have been reading your Journal for quite some time and I appreciate your selected articles as it can be assimilated by any person interested in public health. In your editorial (July/Sept 99) your have analysed the problems faced by the health care providers and some drawbacks in implementing government policies. The implementation of various health schemes, I feel should be at grass root level and that is where the role of Panchayati Raj is relevant. Planning should be directed to the need for particular area, and not by general categorization as it happens now. Involving the community is not an easy job since proper awareness is usually not imparted to individual level or family level by the trained health workers. An example of government scheme working at individual level was observed in the city of Mangalore where the incidence of Malaria when compared to previous years was drastically reduced because of concerted effort of corporation authorities and the health care providers. All families residing in this area are very much aware of the disease and prevention methods. Community participation in controlling the epidemic was excellent and that reaped the benefits. Here was an example wherein people "operate" and government "co-operate".

Thanking you

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Bastian T.S.
Department of Oral Pathology
College of Dental Surgery
Mangalore - 575 001


Reference: Article "Health & Morbidity profile of Khairwar tribes..." by T. Chakma et al of Regional Medical Research Centre for Tribals, RMRC complex, Nagpur Road, Jabalpur-482003 in Indian Journal Community Medicine Vol. XXIV, No.2, Apr.-June 1999.

This is just to attract attention of your readers, research workers and research organizations specially those devoted in tribal areas towards the fact that yaws was an endemic problem among tribes in many districts of India. Since yaws is a disease for which a national eradication programme was launched in 1996-97, hence, it is desirable that in tribal surveys, VDRL & TPHA tests should be carried out even in population below 18 years. In the referred article, a positivity of 63% among adults (18+age group) indicates organized activities for total mass treatment in selected population. A search for active yaws cases should be made not only in villages where they live, but also in areas where khairwar community works (eg. Gadchirole district of Maharashtra.)

Yaws consciousness is specially important on the present phase of yaws eradication activities, and, your co-operation in this regard will be of national importance.

Sterility as a problem in many tribes has already been noted and though notification of State Governments exist to restrict sterilization operations among tribes, yet, overactivity of field workers continues because of monetary motivation associated with National Family Planning Programme.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. V.B. Saxena, MD, D.Ep
Retd. Professor Community Medicine
& National Consultant Yaws Eradication Programme

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