Oct 28, 2012 News
Indicating that he has several ambitious plans on the horizon to further aid the advancement of health and education in Guyana, US-based business tycoon, George Subraj, on Friday, last, expanded his philanthropic portfolio when he, backed by a competent medical team, descended on the West Coast Demerara, Cornelia Ida area, with a plan to arrest the prevalence of a number of diseases spurred by lifestyle choices.
Through a movement called the Sevak Zara Health Project, which commenced in India some two-and-a-half years ago, Subraj, with help from Kidney Specialist, Dr. Thakor Patel, and Kidney Surgeon, Dr. Rahul Jindal, spearheaded the introduction of a massive screening venture.
It is expected to cater to Cornelia Ida and its environs. It is intended to detect cases of diabetes, hypertension and chronic diseases, and also to educate people about the importance of sanitation and lifestyle modification.
The expert team is expected to depart Guyana today, after training six individuals who will ensure that the project is sustained.
According to Dr. Patel, the six trained individuals are teachers and students of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) School at Cornelia Ida, which had been collaborating with Mr. Subraj to ensure that the project came to fruition.
Those trained had volunteered to be a part of an intense two-month training programme inclusive of anatomy and physiology lessons that were passed on by Dr. Patel himself. Aside from being provided with a basic clinical understanding, those trained are also expected to conduct a survey of the foods that are consumed by residents and examine the water condition they are exposed to.
This information, according to Dr. Patel, will be passed on to the government so that any necessary intervention can be swiftly introduced.
Dr. Patel said that over 18,000 persons have been screened for varying forms of health issues. According to him, there is currently at least one trainer in each of the 26 districts of the state of Gujarat in India.
The local project will be closely monitored by the SVN teachers who will be required to keep the overseas experts updated on their findings. They (experts) in turn will pass the information on to the government.
“My hope is if the prevalence of hypertension is high that people who have businesses in Guyana will step up and have an automatic machine in their shops or stores for people to come and check their blood pressure.
“And we are hoping that the Government will also create more screening programmes for diabetes anywhere and everywhere in the country to help address this problem.”
According to Dr. Jindal, while he has over the years been offering the high-end treatment of kidney failure through transplant operations, a critical portion of dealing with this health challenge is prevention.
He noted that the most common reasons for kidney failure are diabetes and hypertension, adding that if efforts are made to prevent or treat these factors at an early stage, maybe some patients would not have to suffer kidney failure, as well as undergo dialysis and transplantation.
With prevention as the main focus, Subraj is optimistic that the problem of kidney failure in Guyana could be significantly reduced. He lamented the fact that there are already too many young people who are inflicted with ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure, suggesting that the vicious cycle is already set to continue if intervening measures are not introduced.
Although the programme has been introduced in Region Three, Subraj is hopeful that it will soon be extended to Georgetown as well as the East Coast and even Berbice in the near future, to help quell the burden on the local health system.
Subraj, a former member of the Guyana Watch team, was the major financial player behind the introduction of kidney transplants in Guyana, an undertaking that was done in collaboration with the Government.
This most recent venture has also received endorsement from the Government, through the Ministry of Health, and will certainly not be the last of things to be done to help improve the health situation in Guyana, according to Subraj.
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