Improve health facilities for children in rural Maharashtra: Survey
Doctors from Mumbai who held medical diagnosis camps found that 50% children who attended programmes had undiagnosed neurological or cardiac conditions.mumbai Updated: Dec 23, 2017 00:17 IST
Rural areas in Maharashtra lack diagnostic facilities to detect neurological and cardiac problems among children, suggests data from medical camps.
The camps were held on the outskirts of Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Satara and Beed.
Doctors from Mumbai who held medical diagnosis camps found that 50% children who attended programmes had undiagnosed neurological or cardiac conditions. Out of 907 children, who attended the camps, 667 (73%) were diagnosed with neurological, cardiac, orthopedic or gastrointestinal complications. Of these, 142 children underwent surgeries only after being diagnosed at the camps.
Those screened were in the age group of 1-18 years, except in Nashik where infants as young as 30 days were also screened from July to September 2017.
“The patients had primary and secondary care treatments available close to their homes. However, many, due to lack of specialised paediatric cardiologists and paediatric neurologists, could not avail tertiary care services,” said Rupesh Choubey facility director of Narayana Health-SRCC Hospital. 247 children were diagnosed with neurological disorders, most common - cerebral palsy, autism, spasticity and epilepsy.
“Latest clinical research has made it possible to treat neurological disorders like cerebral palsy and epilepsy with surgical interventions. However, along with medication, physiological interventions are necessary which aren’t available in distant areas,” said Dr. Pooja Mehta, paediatric neurologist.
The second-most common complication was cardiac anomalies diagnosed in 185 children. Paediatric cardiologists of hospital said that most common complaints were about breathing difficulties in teenagers and adolescents and in babies it was not being able to take feeds properly.
“Further analysis diagnosed the patients with atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD), most commonly known as hole in the heart in upper or lower chamber,” said Dr Pradip Kaushik, paediatric cardiologist.
Dr Kaushik said that most of the patients were told by their physicians that the holes will fill automatically. “Cardiac anomalies in children can be cured 100% with surgical interventions and medication. We lined up patients for surgeries and some have already been performed.”
A public health ministry official, on condition of anonymity, said , “If left unchecked, most children will eventually perish without having a chance to live a better life. There has to be a coalition between the hospitals and nearest tertiary care government hospitals so newly diagnosed cases can be referred there for follow ups and treatment.”