High incidence of STDs among tea tribes of North Tripura

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Agartala, May 5 (UNI) A high rate of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) has been detected among the tea tribe community in North Tripura with nearly 165 people suffering from the disease.

A local NGO ''Pushpraj'' conducted a survey in the Kailashahar sub-division, in which, tests were conducted on around 600 people and the presence of the STDs was confirmed in 165 of them.

However, the lethal AIDS was not found in any of the patients, a member of the NGO confirmed.

''The unhygenic conditions of living of the tribes and illiteracy are the main causes of such high rate of STDs here,'' he added.

''There is lack of awareness among the tea tribe community about health, hygiene and proper sanitation as well as the precautions to be taken to avoid STDs,'' the NGO stated.

The survey also found that superstitions were widespread among the tribes as the people, instead of consulting doctors and medical personnel in the case of any disease, depended on quacks, ''ojhas'' and ''tantriks''.

The members of the NGO also cited an example where a patient, who had been suffering from syphilis for a long time, went to an ''ojha'' for treatment, but did not consult any doctor or visited the nearby hospital for check-up. Later, the person died from the disease as he could not get proper treatment.

''The plight of the poor tea tribes can be gauged from the fact that all the members of the community use the water of the same pond and it is shared by STD patients,'' Secretary of the NGO Ranu Mia said.

He said his NGO will continue with the work of spreading awareness among the people and hoped that the government will take note of the survey report and lend a helping hand to the NGO.

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