Health Behavior Among Tribal Mothers of Arunachal Pradesh, India
Dr. Tage Kanno’s research practicum examines whether training selected women in the villages of Arunachal Pradesh, India will result in wide dissemination of knowledge and help bring about a positive change in the health-related attitudes and behaviors of the people in the entire village. The region of Arunachal Pradesh faces numerous challenges associated with health, including the location of villages in remote places with little or no access to roads, transportation, or information, the fear of vaccination due to the traditional, nonclinical roles religious leaders have played in healthcare, and the lack of trained staff to work in clinical facilities built by the Indian government and other development agencies. In this practicum, Dr. Kanno focuses on the effect of Future Generations Arunachal Pradesh’s approach to building the capacity of communities to improve health and diseases among tribal mothers by training Village Welfare Workers who are expected to share their knowledge to members of her group about health, and who will in turn further spread the same knowledge to men and women in the village. In an effort to provide Future Generations Arunachal Pradesh with a formal evaluation of its programs, Dr. Kanno examines whether a possible increase in knowledge and awareness has led to desirable changes in the behavior of the trial mothers in Arunachal Pradesh, and whether this change in behavior has led to the better utilization of various health care services provided by the government. Overall, Dr. Kanno determines that the villages whether Future Generations programs were carried out in the last eight years prior to the survey did far better than the control villages in terms of positive health behavior among the mothers. It was found that the FGA program has made the most progress in its promoting of home-made ORS as the first line management of diarrheal diseases and steam inhalation for pneumonia, improving nutritional support of children with diarrhea, and washing hands post-defecation to prevent illness. In addition, boiling water is more common in the intervention area, along with the less frequent use of alcohol. Overall, Future Generations Arunachal Pradesh has proved to be effective in implementing health programs across the region.