Health issues of the indigenous communities with special reference to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of Odisha: a review
Keywords:epidemiological transition, disease burden, communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, nutritional status
As India is a country in epidemiological transition, the indigenous populations agonise from a dual burden of illnesses, including undernutrition, infectious diseases and lifestyle-related issues like hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Few concrete efforts have been made to understand these emerging public health problems with emphasis on the indigenous populations living in this country. This review paper focuses on the epidemiological transition, prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases, nutritional status, dual burden of malnutrition and the availability, acceptability and accessibility of the health care services among the tribal communities with special emphasis on the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of Odisha. This study is based on the review of published articles in different online databases using search engines like Google Scholar, Pub Med, INFLIBNET, JSTOR. A total of 195 articles published during the period from 1956 to 2022 were reviewed. The review is focussed on the indigenous populations living in the Indian state of Odisha. Migration and urbanization are the leading causes of epidemiological transition among them. The health scenario in terms of nutritional status, disease burden and availability of health care facilities of Odisha was found to be far behind the national average. Compared to other groups, the situation of the PVTGs of this state is the worst. The review suggests more action-oriented ground level research with targeted goals that would address the health needs of the indigenous populations at a micro level.