Berhampur, November 25 (LocalWire): Five years ago, the parents of Priyanka came to know their 10-year old daughter had a hole in her heart.
All their hopes dashed to the ground when even after waiting for two years, the hole in her heart did not heal automatically, as the doctors had assumed.
The congenital heart disease (CHD) was making Priyanka weaker; she was unable to walk more than a few meters, and her fingers and feet had started to turn blue more often.
After running from pillar to post, health staff, who screened the children in her school, guided her father to avail of the Rashtriya Bal Swathya Karyakram (RBSK) scheme that provides for free diagnosis and treatment of children affected with congenital heart diseases.
After completing the required modalities to avail free treatment under the scheme, she was operated at a private hospital, Ahmadabad, one of the empanelled hospitals under the scheme on 23 August.
“Now she is leading a normal life without any problem,” her mother K Parvati said
Similarly, parents of nine-year-old Supranjit of Kolathigaon in Rangeilunda block were also a worried lot when the doctors in a private hospital told them that the chances of his survival were bleak unless he was operated upon.
“They demanded at least Rs three lakh for operation. I was worried about how to arrange money for the surgery of my son,” his father, a daily labourer, Sanatan Dalia said.
Later, he was approached by the team of RBSK who advised him about the free operation facility.
“After fulfilling all requirements, they took us Ahmadabad by flight and admitted my son in a hospital, where his surgery was conducted. I thank the government for giving a new lease of life to my son,” he stated.
Like Priyanka and Supranjit, as many as 23 such children of Ganjam district have been treated during the last three months under the scheme.
“We are very happy over the hospitality rendered by the staff in Ganjam as well as the hospital at Ahmadabad,” a small trader Rajesh Kumar Sahu said.
A local of Jagannath Prasad, Sahu’s 11-year old son Aditya also received the treatment under the scheme.
During their stay at Satya Sai Heart Hospital in August last, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had visited the hospital and had interacted with the children, recalled Sulochana Jani of Khajuripalli, near Jagannath Prasad whose daughter Nandarani (8) has been cured after the operation.
According to the chief district medical officer Bijay Kumar Panigrahy, since the RBSK scheme was implemented in the district in 2016, as many as 233 congenital heart disease cases have been detected and 136 of them have been successfully treated free of cost.
The district has two dedicated mobile health teams that conduct screening at government schools and Anganwadi centers and identify children suffering from CHD to ensure that they get free treatment, he said