Srinagar: Leading cardiologist and founder-director GauriKaul Foundation, DrUpendraKaul on Thursday said that bringing down the rate of heart attacks in the next 10 to 15 years by almost 50 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir will be a “major achievement” for which adapting a healthy lifestyle by people is one of the major requirements.
DrKaul was addressing the audience during an event commemorating World Heart Day 2021, during which the Gauri Healthy Heart Project (GHHP), J&K, an initiative of the GauriKaul Foundation also released its annual report.
DrKaul said with the ‘Mission of No Heart Attacks by 2025’, GHHP is an ambitious project, the main objective of which is to create awareness and educate people about the prevention of heart problems and optimize the treatment of the patients with cost-effective and evidence- based cardio protective management.
“The increase in sudden deaths due to heart attacks in Jammu and Kashmir was a matter of concern. It prompted me and my team to come up with this project one year ago. Named after my beloved mother GauriKaul, the project primarily aims at educating people about prevention from heart diseases and optimizing their treatment according to novel evidence-based medicine” DrKaul said.
He said during the last one year, GauriKaul Foundation conducted several free heart camps wherein it counselled and treated thousands of patients. “Besides free investigations and on spot cardiac biomarker tests, free medicines were also distributed among the patients. We experienced different things in different areas that have been detailed in the annual report” DrKaul said.
“In addition to the free heart camps, we observed that tele-health has a huge role to play during the ongoing pandemic. And going with the goal of World Heart Day-2021, harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases globally, we have already set up two tele- cardiology units, one in a remote area of Machil and one in Jagti Township, Jammu. These tele- cardiology units would directly connect patients in remote areas with doctors in cardiac hospitals” DrKaul said.
Speaking about the future course of action, DrKaul added, “Our mission is to reduce the number of deaths due to heart attacks by 2025. In this regard, we will continue to go to different areas of J&K, create awareness and impart education to people about modifiable risk factors that would help them in preventing heart attacks. We will also optimize the treatment of patients who already are taking medicines for high blood pressure, diabetes and other heart problems with newer medicines that have preventive properties for the heart. We are hopeful that we will replicate the tele-cardiology model at other remote areas. I believe that everyone has the right to good health and as such we will try to cater the population living in far-flung areas under our project” DrKaul said.
“Cardiac bio-markers is a non-invasive and quick blood investigation to detect and diagnose heart problems instantly. In addition to the routine ECG that we do in all patients in the camps, we will use biomarkers to detect cardiac diseases. Covid-19 affects most organ systems and so does it with the heart. We will also focus on post covid complications of the heart. During the last one year, we have got tremendous support from the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir, IMHANS, Kashmir, JLNM Hospital and other governmental and non- governmental organizations. While continuing our collaboration with them, we will closely work with them especially for the health of the youth and elderly population of Jammu and Kashmir” DrKaul said.
DrKaul said the GKF was soon coming up with GauriKaul Research Institute which will be an academic and research wing of the GauriKaul Foundation. “This research initiative would help us in understanding the causative factors and the pattern of cardiac involvement in youth and other patients more clearly and academically. Also, besides taking care of heart of elderly patients, we are focusing on providing holistic treatment to them under our Gauri Old Age Mission” DrKaul said.
It may be mentioned that a year ago on 29th September 2020, GHHP was inaugurated at SDH Kupwara by AtalDuloo, the then Financial Commissioner H&ME. Since then several free heart camps have been conducted in the remote areas across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides numerous CMEs, other academic programs have also been conducted.
In his address Financial Commissioner, J&K, AtalDuloo, the chief guest on the occasion spoke at length about the project. Congratulating Dr U. Kaul, and his team for the endeavour, he detailed about the various components of early detection, consultation and providing the much needed services to reach remote geographic areas and the needy people.”
While speaking on the occasion, the guest of honour, Muhammad AjazAsad, DC Srinagar, said “Gauri Healthy Heart Project is the leaf in the right direction. Our wishes are with all such efforts.”
Noted satirist and poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef, the special guest said, “Mother is a shadow that provides and protects the child. It stays forever. A mother whose son is Dr U Kaul is as blessed for the offspring as she is for the community.”
“As the academic head for the project, we have been working to link the healthcare services and the various stakeholders in the country. GHHP should be replicated in every district of the country” said Priyadarshani, academic co-coordinator of Gauri Healthy Heart Project.
Other prominent personalities present on the occasion were Prof KhurshidIqbal, eminent Cardiologist, Prof Muhammad Maqbool, HOD IMHANS Srinagar, Dr. AijazMansoorSr Consultant Cardiology, Dr. IqbalSalati, renowned surgeon, Dr. BasantiGanjoo, SrGynaecologist, Dr. AkhterGanai, Secretary Academics, DHS Kashmir, Dr. Nasir Shams, Faculty NBEMS, JLNM Hospital, Mushtaq Ahmed Chaya, ErManzoorNawchoo, Abdul MajidKaboo, prominent businessman and Abdul Salam Dar, retired SP.
In his vote of thanks, CEO GHHP Ajaz Rashid thanked all the stakeholders who have contributed to make the project successful. He particularly thanked media partner Greater Kashmir, NGO partner Ummeed foundation and academic partner Batra Hospital and academic research centre New Delhi. Dr. ZubairSaleem, Geriatric Consultant moderated the proceedings.