Diabetes seems to have ‘arrived’ in the agency tracts of former composite Adilabad district, going by incidence of the disease being detected among the aboriginal people since the last few years.
The medical camp which functioned during the period of the Adivasi religious fair, the famous Nagoba Jatara in Indervelli mandal, also looks to conform to a trend.As many as four Adivasis of the 30 who got their blood samples checked for blood sugar levels at the Nagoba medical camp between February 4 and the forenoon of February 8 were found to be hyperglycemic.
This is certainly a high in terms of incidence as the ethnic people are not known to be prone to the disease. “Yes, a change in the lifestyle of the aboriginal people is affecting individuals, but the incidence is not alarming. We have to follow the World Health Organisation norms on checking the rate of incidence before ringing the alarm bells,” observed Additional District Medical and Health Officer for the agency area, Dr. Thodasam Chandu as he dwelt upon the topic.
“Jaggery has been replaced by sugar while the edible oils are of suspect quality,” Dr. pointed out the changes in the diet of Adivasis which could be a cause for the uncommon disease afflicting them. “Rice has replaced jowar and other minor millets,” he added.“The incidence will definitely be more if a proper survey is done in villages,” opined Kumra Dongur Rao, the headman or patel of Gattepally village in Indervelli who is a diabetic since 2016. “Our people are highly reluctant to subject themselves to medical examinations and also to reveal about being down with some disease like diabetes,” he said of the typical ‘attitude’ of the ethnic people in these parts when it comes to health issues. The situation for diabetics who maintain secrecy about the disease get worse after sometime.
“They do not exercise required control on their diet lest they reveal their status,” Dongur Rao pointed out. The Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Utnoor, has made available the health cube machine which checks for blood sugar levels in addition to rapid diagnosis for malaria etc at the primary health centres at Indervelli, Shampur, Dasnapur, Hasnapur and Narnoor. There is need for publicity in far flung villages regarding this so that more number of individuals can be subjected to tests.
“There is a dire need for an auto analyser and bio chemistry analyser at primary health centres. This will ensure there is no delay in diagnosing diseases thereby cutting time in patients accessing treatment,” suggested a laboratory technician who did not want to be quoted.