A free thyroid screening camp was conducted jointly by Indian Medical Association (IMA), Vellore and the Katpadi Sub Branch of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), Vellore District Branch in connection with World Red Cross Day at the sub branch premises in Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the camp, N. Shanmugasundaram, Revenue Divisional Officer, Vellore and president of the Katpadi Sub Branch said that he would examine the possibility of conducting a free thyroid camp throughout the Vellore revenue division.

K.V. Arulalan, vice-president and K. Senthan, secretary of IMA, Vellore said that one in eight women in India suffer from deficiency of thyroxin (the hormone produced by the thyroid gland), resulting in thyroid disorders. While in children, thyroxin deficiency is one of the causes for mental retardation, which is treatable, in adults, it manifested itself through symptoms such as difficulty in getting up, depression, lethargy, and weight gain.

Dr. Arulalan said that the treatment for thyroxin deficiency was cheap, and is free in all major government hospitals. Medicines are given free of cost in government hospitals.

T.M. Vijayaraghavalu, senior advocate of Vellore, said that the birth anniversary of Jean Henry Dunant, founder of International Red Cross Movement, which falls on May 8, is celebrated as World Red Cross Day. T.V. Sivasubramanian, Chairman, IRCS, Katpadi sub branch, presided.

S.N. Janardhanan, honorary secretary, IRCS, Katpadi sub branch said that doctors provided consultation to the public for one hour daily in the Katpadi sub branch except on Sundays.

R. Srinivasan, vice-chairman, IRCS, Katpadi sub branch said that one of the reasons why most people do not undergo the thyroid test which has to be done regularly after the age of 40 is that the test cost about Rs.500, which they could not afford.