The Keystone-Cornell Health Survey (KCHS), which began in 2016 and is still ongoing, attempts to establish baseline health guidelines in these selected communities: Irula, Alu Kurumba, Cholanaicken, Kattunaicken, Paniyar, Aranadan and Mudhuvan. The health survey aims to identify the communities’ perception of illnesses, risk factors, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) knowledge and diet diversity. The research will also incorporate an ethnographic perspective to understand other underlying factors that influence health outcomes.
The research also seeks to comprehend health-seeking behaviours and mechanisms of healing from traditional healers. Special efforts are being taken to document cases related to mental health. After the survey results, Keystone will be building a strategy for future work across the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve as to best address the issues researched in the KCHS.