227 kids undergo heart surgeries under Maharashtra health scheme

Under the programme, the medical staff concerned are visiting schools and anganwadis in rural areas of the district. Government-run schools in the urban areas have also been included in the scheme.

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After achieving 96% target in the last financial year, the Nashik health department would be reaching out to over 12 lakh children in the district to provide them with necessary treatment under the state government’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). Ever since the programme was initiated in 2013, as many as 227 children have undergone heart surgeries in Nashik. The aim of the programme is to reduce child mortality rate by early detection and management of medical conditions.

Under the programme, the medical staff concerned are visiting schools and anganwadis in rural areas of the district. Government-run schools in the urban areas have also been included in the scheme. District civil surgeon Suresh Jagdale said, “All efforts are being made to ensure that 100% children in the district are reached under the programme and given necessary medical treatment. Altogether 237 heart surgeries have been performed on children since 2013, besides 935 other surgeries.”

In 2013-14, the Nashik health department had conducted health check-up and given treatment to 10.71 lakh of the 12.68 lakh children. The following year, as many as 11.11 lakh of the 11.82 lakh children were checked and treated.

This year, the health department has checked 87,000 of the 5 lakh anganwadi students and 3.89 lakh of the 7.7 lakh school students. The aim is to reach out to all of them by the end of March.They are approching children through school. But officials said some children purposely do not come to school or their parents don’t send them to schools despite being aware of their medical condition as they do not want anyone in their village to know that their child is suffering from a certain ailment. By the time the child grows up and admitted to the hospital, his/her condition has already aggravated.

In the tribal areas, many parents still prefer to go to quacks than seeking medical help. In this backdrop, the aim of the health department this year is to make sincere efforts to organise regular camps and also take assistance of Asha workers in tracing such children.Around 75 medical teams in the district conduct check-ups forchildren through the year. Each team comprises a lady doctor, a male doctor, a pharmacist and auxiliary nursing midwifery.

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