Tuesday July 16, 2019

Free Angioplasty To Poor Patients Offered By Bengaluru Doctors

Awareness of the dreaded disease, however, is low, especially in rural areas.

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Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart.
Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. Wikimedia Commons

By Bhavana Akella

At a time when only the rich can afford and have access to quality healthcare in India, a doctor in a private hospital in this tech hub is offering free angioplasty to the poor, who are no less deserving for it.

“I have been wanting to treat the poor free as they can’t afford the prohibitive cost of quality treatment,” Kiron Varghese, head of cardiology at St John’s Medical College & Hospital, told IANS.

With funds raised from friends and well-wishers, Varghese, 59, will perform about 30 angioplasty surgeries on the heart patients of the economically weaker sections over a month, till February 19.

 

Atherosclerosis, sleep
Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries. Flickr

Angioplasty, which involves insertion of a tube or a stent to widen blocked arteries, costs Rs 1-2 lakh at private hospitals.

“As only a limited number of surgeries can be performed with the funds raised, younger patients and breadwinners of their families will get preference for the surgery,” said Varghese.

One arterial block of each patient will be cleared through angioplasty so as to benefit the maximum numbers.

Patients requiring immediate surgery will be selected through a screening process.

Angioplasty
Patients requiring immediate surgery will be selected through a screening process. IANS

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Indians suffer most from cardiovascular diseases globally, with a fifth of deaths due to heart ailments in the Indian subcontinent.

Awareness of the dreaded disease, however, is low, especially in rural areas, a study commissioned by global medical technology trade association Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), found.

Also Read: Poor Nutrition Is A Key Driver and Risk Factor For Disease

Though the cost of an angioplasty at state-run hospitals is less than in private hospitals, shortage of catheterisation laboratories (an examination room with imaging equipment to visualise heart’s arteries) and dearth of skilled cardiologists, make them unable to meet the demand and risk a heart patient’s life, said the AdvaMed study released last year.

“The arterial blocks are more common among men in the 40-60 age group,” added Varghese. (IANS)

Next Story

India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)