Health Research in Assam: Tea Gardens
By: Arooj Fatima
The state of Assam is the king producer of tea in India; Dibrugarh is the hub of tea gardens in the state. Out of the 138 tea gardens, a study was conducted over 8 to investigate the health problems and nutritional status of the associated population.
The full form of this research paper is available online in English and Assamese but if you are willing to get it translated to another language of your choice then consider Assamese Health Research Translation provided by professional International Translation Services.
The average population of the households in the selected tea gardens was twenty seven thousand. The tea industry was the sole source of livelihood for these households and at least one member of each family worked in the tea gardens. 4016 participants were chosen for this research, out of which 1863 were male and 2153 were female.
General physical examinations were carried out over the participants; they were tested for respiratory infections, diarrhea, skin infections, leprosy, filariasis, gastro-intestinal problems and back pain plus other ergonomic troubles. Previous medical information or records and existing medication were also taken into account.
596 of the participants were preschool children and 59.9% (357) of them were underweight, out of which majority were females. There were also signs or Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C deficiency in many children of ages 15 and below.
It was estimated that 65.4% of all participants were subject to at least one intestinal infection and respiratory diseases was the second most common health issue observed. Another discovery was that 45.9% of adults (ages 20 and above) suffered from hypertension, irrespective of gender.
Other conditions that were less widespread but are worth mentioning include skin problems and diarrhea. Other background characteristics such as education, availability of a toilet, use of alcohol and tobacco were compared among the households of participants. A relationship was established between literacy rate and health problems, including malnutrition.
The percentage of thinness and malnutrition was higher in the illiterate, and most of them did not have access to a household toilet. Yet, surprisingly intestinal infections and diarrhea were more prevalent in participants who actually had a toilet facility in their homes. The occurrence of hypertension was greater in alcohol and tobacco users, as expected.
The conclusion is that under nutrition and infectious diseases are widespread in the tea garden population of Assam. The main causes appear to be poor hygiene and lack of education. There is need of strengthening public health policy; better sanitation, cleaner water supply, improved medical care and food supply are the most important factors.
It is equally important to educate the population about the health risks related to their profession and lifestyle, so that they can understand and act upon preventative measures.
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