Tribals Of Alidabad Losing Out On Health Due To Adulterated Oil

by Medindia Content Team on  December 5, 2007 at 1:32 PM General Health News
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Tribals Of Alidabad  Losing Out On Health Due To Adulterated Oil
The poor of Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh are suffering from the ill effects of  edible oil,  sold loose in these  rural areas.   Adulterated oil being sold in the  local grocery shops  is now being blamed as  one  the factors impacting the general health of these poor tribals.

In the Agency areas, a large number of tribals  are falling prey to frequent fevers.  According  to health workers , their  levels of natural resistance are being slashed by such oil.  In view of  such  prevailing conditions, there is  now an increased  demand for packaged or 'safe' oil to be made available  through the public distribution system (PDS).

"We have already done that. About 1,600 one-litre packets of refined palm oil have been kept at the fair price shops in the mandals of Sirpur (U), Narnoor, Jainoor, Utnoor and Indervelli that are most affected by the tropical diseases now. These are being sold at Rs. 50 per litre,"  says  G. Sambaiah, district manager of the Civil Supplies Corporation.

At the same time, the government  needs to help  cultivate  the habit of consumption of packaged oil among the tribals. The experiment of sale of iodized salt through the PDS could be taken as an example before taking up sale of edible oil, say experts.

Iodized salt is being sold at Rs. 3 to Rs. 4 per kg. This is   about Rs. 3 less than other brands available in the open market. Yet  villagers have preferred the loose uniodised salt. The main reason behind this  is poverty.  This prevents many  from purchasing 1 kg packets, when they can make do with purchase of 50 grams uniodised salt for  just 50 paise . 

The same goes with edible oil. Tribals prefer purchasing small quantities without bothering about the purity of the oil. The Rs. 50 per litre price of oil is higher that the price of between Rs. 35 to Rs. 40  for a  litre of adulterated oil. Moreover, tribals buy groceries in much smaller quantities.

It has been suggested that the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) at Utnoor  can try  supplying  edible  oil in smaller  packets and at subsidised rates.

Meanwhile the Minister  of  Roads & Buildings and Adilabad district in-charge T. Jeevan Reddy , has recently  conceded that of the 125 deaths that have taken place Adilabad district this year, malaria caused some of them.

This bit of information was out at the District Review Committee (DRC) meeting. The tropical fevers that ravaged the five mandals of Narnoor, Sirpur (U), Jainoor, Indervelli and Utnoor in the agency area since June this year, was being discussed. Around 369 persons in tribal areas had  died due to these fevers. In response,  Mr. Jeevan Reddy   said  that the government had already taken all measures to control the situation. The Collector had enlisted the control measures undertaken by the government.  At the meeting, members also protested the deplorable condition of the NH 7   which caused many road accidents and loss of lives.
The Minister was earlier barraged  by agitating activists of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) near the Collectorate. They  were  protesting against fever deaths, bad condition of NH 7 and decreasing prices of cotton.  

Source: Medindia

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