There are over 7,000 tribal communities in the world today and the use of information technology can help solve their health problems which have assumed serious proportions, noted social activist Dr Abhay Bang said on Monday.Bang, who works in the field of community health in tribal Gadchiroli district of Vidarbha, was speaking at a symposium on ‘Health issues of tribals and use of IT’, at the 102nd Indian Science Congress at the Mumbai University campus in suburban Kalina.”Measures to tackle problems faced by adivasis should be keeping in mind their utility for them,” Bang said.Bang said health facilities do not reach the tribals, despite the government making a provision of Rs 5,000 crore for the same.”Basically, we need to see what tribals require. We should check whether what we are giving to them will be of use to them. We should reach them,” the activist said.Hospitals in many adivasi hamlets are located far from the locality and as a result, the tribals don’t have access to them, Bang said.”Tribals have their peculiar customs and traditions.We should take these also into consideration while planning anything for them,” he said.Bang informed the audience about the work his NGO is doing in Gadchiroli district.Niru Singh of the National Institute of Research in Tribal Health and Chandrashekhar of the International Institute for Population Sciences were also present and spoke on issues like malnutrition, high blood pressure and increased addiction afflicting many tribals.

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IT can help solve health issues of tribals, says social activist Abhay Bang