Projects for better health

Come January 31, a first-of-its-kind mobile cardiac care unit will start its statewide journey to screen people of possible heart ailments.

The state government ' in association with Bihar Olympic Association, Bihar Development Foundation, UK, and Dr Mahendra Narayan Foundation ' would launch the initiative primarily to monitor hearts of people in the age bracket of 16 years to 40 years.

The mobile van, to touch all the 38 districts, will be equipped with hi-tech machines so that anyone can get his/her ECG done apart from blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests.

A paramedical staff and a nurse would be present in the van who will administer the screening process and report of each patient will be sent to Dr Rajay Narain, a cardiologist at St George's Hospital of London University.

Narain, the health adviser to the state government, will provide free consultation to patients through telemedicine. From tests to consultation with Dr Narain, people can avail all these services free of cost.

According to Dr Narain, this is an unprecedented initiative in the country. "No other state has such a programme for cardiac screening of people. Bihar is the first state to offer such a scheme to the residents, especially the villagers," he said. People in the rural areas have hardly any access to advance healthcare and diagnosis.

Reports suggest, Dr Narain said, more than 35 per cent deaths in India are caused because of heart ailments.

"People between 16 years and 40 years are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. Inherited heart diseases like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (where heart muscles turn thick) and ventricular fibrillation (severely abnormal heart rhythm) are completely curable but the problem is that the patient never consults a doctor in the early stage of his/her disease. They consult a doctor only when they have reached an advanced stage of their diseases. I hope that this initiative will yield good results. People in Bihar would be diagnosed at an early stage of their disease and we would be able to cure them with effective treatment," he said.

For cardiac experts worldwide, diseases among youngsters have become a major cause of concern with unhealthy lifestyle and improper food habits making them prone to fall sick.

"Before launching our mobile van service, we have also thought to screen some sportspersons and schoolchildren. On Thursday, we will organise a programme at PNT Hall in which national-level players from the state will be screened. Very soon, we are also going to organise a programme at St Michael's High School, Patna, where we will screen schoolchildren," added Dr Narain.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey will inaugurate the van at the Rajendra Nagar office of Dr Mahendra Narayan Foundation on January 31.

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