Understandings, knowledge and practices are all related with the surrounding and culture where people are born and brought up; with due diverse cultural and social environment set up, different communities have different understandings and perceptions about diseases and illnesses. In order to facilitate successful medical intervention, it is imperative to understand the common health concerns people have, their perception of the causes and the methods employed by them in terms of treatment/cure and prevention. Malnutrition remains one of the most common forms of illness that plague the human population globally. As regards number of children suffering from malnutrition, India is ranked 2nd in the world according to the World Bank estimate made in 1998, whereas the prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world. Children belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, or other backward classes have relatively high levels of under nutrition according to all three measures. Children from tribal communities have the poorest nutritional status on almost every measure. Tribal communities in general and primitive tribal groups in particular are highly disease prone. The study was made to bring out indigenous understandings and perceptions regarding the management of malnutrition of children under 5 among the tribes of Manipur. To a medical anthropologist, integrating the belief system within communities with modern medical knowledge, paves the path for evolving successful health care facilities. Intensive field based study was carried out among the ST population in Manipur, Imphal East District.
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