The study carried out by 'Thampu', a voluntary organisation working among tribals in Attappady, found that over 80 percent children belonging to 0-1 age group, screened as part of the study, were found to be suffering from malnutrition.

The report was drawn up after a two-day survey conducted by a team led by health expert Dr E K Sathyan at six settlements in three tribal panchayats--Agali, Puthur and Sholayur-- in Attappady in November last.

Majority among the 40 children examined as part of the study were suffering from various health issues including underweight, it said.

"Haemoglobin level is below ten for 80 percent of tribal mothers. Their weight is also very low compared to the national average," it said.

The haemoglobin level was lower even among women who had the intake of iron and folic acid tablets during the time of pregnancy period, it said.

According to Rajendraprasad, the President of 'Thampu', lack of proper implementation of welfare projects was one of the major reasons for the plight of tribal folk in Attappady.

"Though the central and state governments have announced several welfare and health packages, none of them has succeeded in addressing the fundamental issues of the region.

Scientific implementation of these programmes is inevitable for the development of the region," he told reporters.

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