NCPCR, asks AP Govt to prevent tribal children deaths

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Hyderabad, Jul 1 (UNI) Expressing concern over the death of more than 185 tribal children in Adilabad district due to viral fever, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Shantha Sinha today asked Andhra Pradesh Government to strengthen public health delivery system and prevent recurrence of such deaths.

Talking to mediapersons here after visiting the affected areas along with other Commission members Deepa Sinha and Manish Kakar and consultant Spoorthy Reddy, she said the Commission was of the view that lack of proper interface between the State government and the community was responsible for the tragic deaths of tribal children.

The government has failed to act in time to prevent these deaths. There are a lot of loopholes in the public health delivery system. We do not want to indulge in any blame game as negative mindset will not work,'' Prof Sinha pointed out, adding the Commission would pressurise the state government to improve interface with the community and improve the nutritional status of the tribal people, including children.

Privatisation of health services was a ''non-issue'' in the case of tribals as they only relied upon the Public Health Centres (PHC), Ms Sinha, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership, said.

Anganwadi workers were not recruited in these areas due to non-availability of eligible tribals in the last one year, he said. Mr Sinha is also, also Head of MV Foundation, which has rehabilitated over four lakh child labourers by enrolling them in schools.

The Commission urged the government to recruit a Scheduled Caste candidate wherever an ST candidate was unavailable in the short term and hasten the process of universalisation of education in the tribal areas in the long term, she said.

UNI SM VA VV AKJ AS1635

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