With a growing number of Alzheimer’s patients in the state, health minister Dr Deepak Sawant has decided to open memory clinics at each district hospital to treat them. The health department will also start day-care centers for such patients at Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik and Sindhudurg.

A meeting in this regard was held on Monday helmed by Dr Sawant where the issue of Alzheimer’s patients was discussed. The officials informed the minister that out of an average 1,400 patients coming to government-run hospitals every day for check-up, six to seven were patients of Alzheimer’s disease. The officials said that these patients did not seek treatment for fear of social stigma. Hence, the state government should have its own centers to treat such patients, they said.

An official from the health department said, “Memory clinics are expected to have early detection of Alzheimer’s patients and treat them early. Various tests can be conducted on these patients to ascertain the cause and they would be treated accordingly. Government-run hospitals do not have this facility everywhere, especially in the rural areas.”

The day-care centers will treat patients apart from teaching family members and relatives how to deal with these patients. The official added that the government would start Alzheimer’s awareness programs, even for school students.

Meanwhile, the Malavani government hospital will have a facility for cancer patients with help from Tata Cancer Hospital. The facility will start from January 26. The government conducted a cancer check-up drive of nearly 1.77 crore people from the state between December 1 and 31, 2017.

There is a possibility of there being 10 to 15 oral cancer patients out of every 10 lakh people in the state. The government has decided to carry out further tests on those suspected of having oral cancer. The government will also operate on them free-of-charge, the official said. – Asian Age 

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