Swasthya Swaraj Comprehensive Community Health Programme is active in 75 villages from 6 panchayats – Kerpai, Nakrundi, Kaniguma, Gunpur, Sindhipadar and Gopalpur in Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi region in Odisha. This programme covers a population of about 14000 people.
Kalahandi is a beautiful land of unending mountain ranges, gushing rivers, lush green forests, mineral-rich soil and simple people. In spite of nature’s abundance in gifts, the region suffers as the most backward and underdeveloped part of the state. Thumul Rampur Block being the most hit. Adult literacy is 26%. Adult female literacy is 5% in the tribal dominant villages. The children are undernourished. They are familiar with the deprivation, dejection, sicknesses and deaths. Gross illiteracy and a superstition bound culture prevent them from seeking health care even when it is made available to them.
The number of deaths happening in this small population is high and are unreported silent deaths. Villages here are dens of malaria which contribute to many deaths. Malaria worsens the malnutrition of the children leading to a ‘mal-mal’ situation. Scabies in its worst forms, Tuberculosis and Leprosy is also rampant here and the high load of these preventable diseases are biological manifestations of the underlying inequity and food insecurity.