DIBRUGARH, Nov 16 - Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) Foundation, a charitable trust promoted by Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) with the support from Zorg van de Zaak Foundation, a Netherlands-based social enterprise, has undertaken a Fungal Free Frocks (3F) project at Nahartoli, Chabua and Borjan tea estates.
APPL Foundation is implementing the project in two parts - preventive (to prevent fungal infections from happening) and curative (medical intervention to treat the infection once it has developed).
The preventive activities will focus on creating awareness on the disease, provision of detergent, soap and petticoats. The treatment will involve provision of free ointment and oral medication. The project will be delivered through qualified medical staff of Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL), said officials from the Trust.
Through the project, APPL Foundation along with Zorg van de Zaak Foundation seek to empower the communities engaged in the plantations by making them aware as well as develop a low-cost-high-impact model for the government and rest of the industry to follow.
Under the project, during the last seven months or so, APPL Foundation conducted a survey amongst over 4,000 individuals, of which around 2,500 individuals were diagnosed with fungal infections.
According to APPL Foundation, fungal infection is a largely hidden public health issue which is endemic particularly in the plantations. During monsoons, this can affect upto 70% of the women working in these tea estates.
Despite the large incidence, it has been observed that most women do not seek medical help.
Moreover, constant counselling is required to promote clean and hygienic living conditions. Multiple rounds of awareness sessions are being conducted among the workers. Medicine and ointment are also being provided to each of the affected individual to check the endemic infection, said the Foundation officials.