Congenital heart disease on rise in Punjab’s Malwa districts
In Mansa district, as many as 20 cases of kids suffering from the disease were detected in 2014-15 while 44 cases were reported in 2017-18.punjab Updated: May 30, 2018 12:31 IST
Shubpreet Singh of Fafde Bhaike village in Mansa district now goes to school with confidence after he was successfully treated for congenital heart disease recently. Aged 16, he now aims to become a doctor so that he could treat patients with similar ailment.
Shubpreet’s is not the only case as Mansa, Muktsar and Fazilka districts in the Malwa region of the state have witnessed a rise in the number of such cases in the past few years.
Figures from other districts were not available as Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) state nodal officer Dr Sukhdeep Kaur and RBSK state co-coordinator Rajni Sharma refused to share details on the disease.
In Mansa district, as many as 20 cases of kids suffering from the disease were detected in 2014-15 while 44 cases were reported in 2017-18. In Muktsar, 16 cases of the disease were reported in 2015-16 and the number doubled in 2017-18. As many as 44 cases were reported in 2017-18 in Fazilka.
Ailment and help
In congenital heart disease, a patient’s heart structure is defective as the normal blood flow through heart gets affected. Besides, walls, valves, arteries and veins of the heart can also be defective. It causes poor-blood circulation, rapid breathing and fatigue.
The cause of the disease is often unknown; likely reasons are infections during pregnancy, use of certain medications or alcohol/tobacco, or poor nutrition or obesity in the mother. Having a parent with a congenital heart defect is also a risk factor.
Mandeep Kumar, RBSK co-coordinator for Mansa, said, “RBSK is aimed at an early detection and diagnosis of various diseases among kids. Children aged 0-18 and enrolled in anganwadis and schools are covered under the scheme. As many as 30 ailments are covered under the scheme.”
Baljeet Singh, RBSK coordinator (Fazilka), said, “The positive aspect of the scheme is that there are no formalities needed for availing the scheme. The cost of the surgery, which otherwise ranges from ₹6 to ₹8 lakh, is borne by the government.
“The surgeries are performed at hospitals like the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Dayanand Medical College (DMC), Ludhiana, and Fortis, Mohali,” he added.
“I am grateful to the government for this scheme as being a labourer, I couldn’t even afford the medicines, let alone the operation” said Shubpreet’s father.
Shalu, RBSK coordinator in Muktsar, said, “In 2015-16, as many as 16 kids were found suffering from the ailment in the district and the number doubled in 2017-18. In 2014-15, four kids underwent surgery and in 2017-18, the number of children who went surgery was 12.”