All the Communities cannot thrive without good health, but sadly, good health can be elusive for communities on the margins of society. Even before covid, tribal and indigenous people all over the world have routinely experienced lower life expectancies, poor maternal and child health, and higher rates of both infectious and non-communicable diseases.
The coronavirus pandemic—food insecurity, isolation, and loss of income that have followed—have only exacerbated these trends and pushed vulnerable tribal and indigenous populations further to the margins.
But India is particularly well placed to reverse these trends. As home to 28% of the world’s tribal people, developing holistic bottom-up strategies to improve health and well-being in local settings. India can become the forerunner of new initiatives to improve tribal health, creating a model for the rest of the world to empower indigenous communities.
By working with local leaders to bridge knowledge gaps, strengthening last mile service delivery and leveraging the potential of new technologies and partnerships, India can vastly improve the well-being of its 104 million tribal citizens and help the world reach its Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Also, leveraging new technologies and partnerships can improve both decision-making and patient care. New digital innovations, especially mobile apps and platforms, can connect people longitudinally, vertically, and horizontally. Introducing point-of-care devices can improve data collection and accountability throughout the health services sector. The national digital health mission is an important step in the right direction and can help expedite this digital transformation