A team of doctors and specialists will provide the service

The Ganga Hospital in association with the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity on Saturday launched Rastra – Rotary Aid for Spinal Treatment and Rehabilitation on Saturday.

S. Rajasekaran, Director, Ganga Hospital, said at a function that under Rastra patients with spinal cord injury would undergo a structured rehabilitation programme and vocational training for one to two months.

A team of doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and vocational trainers and the Hospital and Avinashilingam Jan Shikshan Sansthan would provide the service.

He said that the aim of the project was to give an opportunity for the financially weaker patients to gain confidence and the skills needed for an independent living.

The vocational training would help them start earning and financially support their familiy.

The Rastra project would bear the all expenses, right from the start of the rehabilitation to the time a patient landed on a job. It would also provide patients with callipers, equipment, wheel chair and other aids on discharge.

Spinal cord injury was a cause for concern because 80 per cent of those who sustained it were from the lower economic strata.

Breadwinners

And, they, invariably happened to be breadwinners. Although statistics were not available, India ranked high in incidences of spinal cord injury. This was because of accidents on road, at work places, etc.

G. Balamurali, Consultant, Spine and Neurosurgeon, Ganga Hospital, said that around two to three million people suffered injury on the spinal cord with 10,000 to 20,000 addition a year.

For those people, the number of treatment centres very limited – only 140 across the country. Rehabilitation and vocational training were also problematic.

He said that of the Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 lakh required for a patient, the Ganga Hospital Trust would bear a portion and the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity would bear the rest. The latter had promised to support a minimum of five patients and maximum of 50 a year.

D.R. Karthikeyan, former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, complimented the initiative.

MD. V. Rajkumar, Rotarian, Patrick Kluger, spinal cord injury specialist, V. Gopalakrishnan, president, RC Saicity, J.G. Shanmuganathan, Chairman, Ganga Hospital and V. Marappan, Project Chairman, RC Saicity, were present at the occasion.

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