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Tripura launches free congenital heart disease treatment at Apollo Chennai, hosts first state-level screening camp

First Published: 4th July, 2024 21:34 IST

The free screening and treatment camp aimed to facilitate early detection and medical intervention, improving the prognosis for affected children.

In a pioneering effort for the early identification and treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD) among children, Tripura organized its first free state-level screening camp on Thursday.

Over one hundred children benefited from this initiative.

Held under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) at the Agartala Government Nursing College and IGM Hospital premises, the camp was organized by the National Health Mission (NHM) in collaboration with Apollo Children’s Hospital, Chennai.

The initiative was the brainchild of Chief Minister Manik Saha, who noticed during his weekly public meetings that many parents were seeking help for their children suffering from congenital heart disease. Financial constraints often delayed the detection and treatment of these conditions, leading to severe acute stages.
The free screening and treatment camp aimed to facilitate early detection and medical intervention, improving the prognosis for affected children.

Chief Minister Manik Saha and senior health department officials were present at the camp, which saw participation from many parents and their children with various heart conditions from across the state.

Saha emphasized that under this program, many children with heart problems would be eligible for free treatment, even outside the state. In addition, local doctors would receive training to provide treatment within the state in the coming years.

On May 10 this year, the state government signed an MoU with Apollo Children’s Hospital in Chennai. This agreement ensures that children in Tripura with congenital heart defects have greater access to treatment at Apollo Children’s Hospital, with all expenses covered by the state government under the RBSK program.
Expert doctors from Apollo Children’s Hospital attended the screening camp to examine children previously identified by the RBSK team and provide necessary consultations.
The parents expressed their gratitude to the government for the financial support and the initiative, which they believe will help their children lead normal lives.
Tripura has 48 dedicated RBSK mobile health teams for screening congenital diseases among children up to 18 years, and three districts also have dedicated screening centers.
In the 2023-24 financial year, 91 children with congenital heart disease underwent free surgeries at various hospitals within and outside the state. Additionally, 141 children with cleft lip and palate, 105 children with clubfoot, and 73 children with hearing impairments received treatment. Furthermore, four children with neural tube defects underwent surgery, and 67 children with autism received treatment. In total, 32,787 children with various other diseases were treated.

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