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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 62-65
Impediments to optimal health-care utilization of a particularly vulnerable tribal group in Wayanad: A qualitative study


1 Health Action by People; Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
2 Health Action by People, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum; Amrita Insititute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Health Action by People, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum; Academy of Medical Sciences, Kannur, Kerala, India
4 Health Action by People, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum; Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
5 Health Action by People, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Antony Stanley
PhD Scholar, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_48_19

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Introduction: The pathways and mechanisms through which constraints that impede optimal utilization of the government health-care service provisions translate into health inequities among Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups seem to be an area that warrants research. Objective: The objective is to explore and understand the mechanisms/pathways through which various factors result in health care inequity among the Kattunayakan tribe in Wayanad. Materials and Methods: Designed as a qualitative case study, using observations and interviews with mothers, community members, and frontline health-care personnel, the study was conducted in a Kattunayakan hamlet in Wayanad. The data, in the form of digital audio recordings and field notes, were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using a thematic approach. Results and Discussion: Axes of inquiry like access to health-care institutions, acceptability of the services provided, hurdles faced by the tribes, the health-care personnel, and how the system responded to these issues were explored. Disregard for the identity and culture of the tribes, geographical barriers for utilization and providing health services, proactive efforts from government systems, collaborations with private and professional bodies are important factors that possibly influence health inequities among tribes. Conclusion: Acknowledgment of the sociocultural identity of the tribes, gaining their trust, proactive efforts from the government machinery, innovative context-specific programs, strategic partnerships and a departure from the “blame the victim” philosophy are key in the effort to provide services that meet the health-care needs of the tribes.


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