About 70 students with heart problems were checked and treated at Mongar Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) in the on-going echocardiography camp.
This was possible after an echocardiography technician nurse from the national referral hospital visited Mongar for the camp.
It was learnt that the hospital has an ultrasound machine that remains unused, as there is no technician, resulting in most heart patients being referred to Thimphu.
On July 11, 19 students of Pemagatshel dzongkhag were screened and treated.
A parent, Sonam Yoesel, said a medical team from the dzongkhag visited the Yoechen Central School and found that his daughter has heart problems.
His daughter studies in class II.
He said his daughter was lucky to have got the right intervention during the summer break. “It does not hamper her studies.”
Another parent, Choney Zangmo, whose son studies in pre-primary in Dechen Choeling Lower Secondary School in Pemagatsel said it’s good that her son’s medical condition was diagnosed early.
She said she would not be able to afford to bring her son to Mongar or to take him to Thimphu herself. “My son is lucky to receive treatment with help from dzongkhag.”
A father of a heart patient, Tashi Wangyel, said his daughter had a heart surgery and they have to keep visiting Gelephu or the national referral hospital in Thimphu.His daughter studies in class IV in Yurung Central School.
“Going to Gelephu and Thimphu cost us a huge amount,” he said. “This time, we came in the school bus.” Schoolteachers also escorted them this time.
An escort teacher, Wang Norbu, said Pemagatshel education and health sectors made the arrangements to bring the students to Mongar for the camp.
In Mongar, the Mongar education sector arranged lodging at the Lower Secondary School.
Dr Tulsi Ram Sharma at Mongar hospital said medical officers visit all the school and screen children for heart diseases. “Children having abnormal heart sound or murmur are followed up at eastern region referral hospital.”
He said other children with abnormal heart sounds detected while visiting Out Patient Department (OPD) by pediatrician also came for echo camp.
“They have come here for check-up, mostly to confirm congenital heart disease.”
Dr Tulsi Ram Sharma said patients would start medication and undergo heart surgery if significant heart disease is detected.
The MRRH management officials said that the camp is organised during summer break for students so that their studies are not hampered.
The camp that started on July 9 will end on July 18.
Meanwhile, MRRH has received a computed tomography (CT) scan machine, which is being installed.
Tashi Phuntsho| Mongar