IHRD (Indian Health and Rural development ) organizing Free Blood Pressure and Sugar Screening Camps in Rural India

IHRD in recent days organized free health camp at various places in and around Tumkur District, Karnataka.

Working towards reaching most of the rural places in India.

The main objective of the free health camp was to create awareness among the public regarding the causes, prevention and control of diabetes and blood pressure. Creating awareness among the public has demanded important attention as rapid increase has been noticed in the number of people having high blood pressure and sugar level. Besides creating awareness among the public, free BP and sugar level checkups and persons having high risk of blood pressure and diabetes were advised to go to District hospital for further checkup or nearby hospital.

Arising graph of blood pressure and diabetes cases in India has been found to include rural areas as much as cities, the poor as much as the rich. But what can be the strategies for dealing with these diseases when awareness is lacking and medical facilities aren’t up to scratch?

The IHRD, which dedicates itself to bridging the gap between theory and practice in matters of public health, has come up with some interesting insights based on an initiative over last six months in the Tumkur District Karnataka.

Working in 24 villages since June-2018, the IHRD public health workers to identify individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) because of blood pressure and diabetes provided counselling and encouraged them to seek treatment.

The aim of the effort was to see whether the public healthcare system could be sensitized and successfully deployed to address challenges in dealing with non-communicable diseases in a rural population.
Using IHRD health platform, the organization screened 2400 persons above the age of 40 in 54 villages. Of them, 16 percent were found to be at high risk of CVD and were referred to a nearby primary health Centre (PHC). Of these high-risk patients, 40 percent consulted a PHC doctor and 38 percent went to a private practitioner. When follow-ups were done with 85 percent of these high-risk patients, it was found that 75 percent of them were taking their medicines.

The success of the effort is not merely in adding up these numbers but in marrying the public healthcare system with technology. A total of 240 Health volunteers were trained to promote awareness and measure diabetes and high blood pressure. They learned how to use the IHRD health Kit, IHRD health kit not only takes in data but provides comparative information about the readings to the person being screened. For instance, how does a smoker’s longevity improve by becoming a non-smoker? Or, how do exercise and better diet reduce obesity? The data collected on the sheet is shared with the PHC where the doctor can access it.

But at the core of this effort is the Health volunteers, who is embedded in the community and, therefore, able to win trust and create awareness. It is also she who follows up on patients, encouraging them to go to the physician and take their medicines regularly.

Making the IHRD public health workers effective in identifying and dealing with NCDs is one of the achievements of this effort. The other is helping the PHC doctor deal with such cases. The PHC doctors are oriented to deal with only the most basic of health needs. Getting these doctors to identify NCDs like high blood pressure and sugar and prescribe medication for them requires setting the context with prompting and exposure. Often, medications for NCDs are not stocked in PHCs.

“We believe in finding solutions which are affordable, scalable and yet high-quality. The objective is to improve access to healthcare and make it affordable for all,” says Naveen SP – Director, finance and operations, at the IHRD Karnataka.

“We essentially support the public sector, but quality and outcome measures have to be much more carefully defined,” he says.
“IHRD health provides an ecosystem for improving the delivery of quality primary healthcare in communities. It influences three key areas: task shifting, facilitating technology for healthcare providers and use of mobile devices for delivery and quality control,” explains Mr.Naveen SP

“What is the problem in rural areas? The PHC is geared to cater only to basic diseases, and many of them only to maternal and child health,” says Veeresh YS –Regional manager at IHRD. “But evidence shows that NCDs are increasing in rural areas. So, can we use the same set-up that the government has to provide these services?”

“The doctor-patient ratio in rural areas is 1: 20,000. So how do we create a system whereby NCDs get attention and treatment?”
“Project objective is to create awareness,” adds Vinay S H -Project Director at IHRD. “People don’t know that they have hypertension and blood sugar. How do we create an environment of health-seeking behavior?”

“Chronic diseases don’t just happen like infectious diseases,” points out Veeresh YS. “They build up over a period of time and either they never get treated or it takes years to treat them. We are advocates of preventive care to keep people out of hospital.”

“Our survey in Karnataka showed that more people were dying of cardiovascular disease than of HIV and road accidents put together,” he says..

We need your financial support to make the medical camps more successful

Deposit your contribution directly into Indian Health And Rural Development Charitable Trust’s bank account:

Bank Name – ICICI Bank
Branch name – Tumkur Branch
Account Number – 109405001000
Name of Account – Indian Health And Rural Development Charitable Trust
Account Type – Current Account

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