MANGALORE: Getting yourself diagnosed and treated at an early stage is essential.

Every 10 in 1,000 children suffer from heart illness and need to be evaluated for simple reason that 90 per cent of the cases are treatable. Awareness in children, parents and schools will go a long way in correcting this, says Dr Prem Alva, children's heart specialist, who is working on creating awareness among children and parents.

Back on track

Rashmi, six-year-old from Kundapur treated successfully for higher than normal heartbeat, recently said, “I am happy to be normal.” I can ride a bicycle and play with my friends without any difficulty. Earlier, I was not able to do any activities that my peers could,” she adds.

Nagarathna,14-year-old girl also from Kundapur says that she is happy as she can go to school regularly and does not experience tiredness during various activities in school. In fact she says it was her school that detected her difficulty and helped her with timely medical assistance. “I now spread awareness among peers on how heart illness if diagnosed and treated at right time can make one's life brighter,” she adds.

Government doctors can really help in creating awareness among children during school screening programme. An annual yearly health check-up in school too helps a great deal. A hole in the heart can now be closed in an hour with button-like device through small thin hollow tube-based procedure inserted into vein through small cut. The child can leave the very next day, informs Dr Alva.

Suvarna Bhagya Scheme for government school children, Yashaswini scheme for farmer's children, Vajpayee arogya scheme for below poverty line and ESI scheme for children of those covered under ESI further enable free treatment for poor children.