Bengaluru: Karnataka Brain Health Initiative (KaBHI), which was launched in January this year, will soon be expanded to other parts of the state, state health minister K Sudhakar said.
KaBHI is being jointly implemented by Karnataka health department and NIMHANS under the guidance from NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog with a goal to develop an evidence-based public health model for prevention and equitable care for neurological disorders across primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care. Under this hub and spoke model, 122 primary health care (PHC) doctors from three districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapura, and Bangalore South have been trained by NIMHANS neurology specialists to treat common neurological diseases.
The major intent behind the initiative was that those staying in rural areas of Karnataka need not travel to Bengaluru for neurological disorders and could be given basic treatment at primary health centres.
“A person can be considered completely healthy only if their mental health is also good. Number of people suffering from neurological and mental health issues has increased in the last 10 years. There has been an increase in dementia, strokes and head injury cases. According to statistics, about seven-eight percent of deaths are due to mental health and brain related issues which is the second leading cause of death. It is not important how long we live, what is important is how well we live. Brain-related illnesses are also increasing due to non-communicable diseases. Over the past 10 years, the number of people suffering from mental health difficulties, neurological illnesses and stroke are increasing,” the minister said.
“The government of India is conducting a national campaign on mental illness through the T-MANAS Tele-counselling platform. The T-Manas platform launched by the central government was based on the E-Manas platform launched by Karnataka earlier. The state government is already doing a pilot project in Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Bengaluru Rural districts with the help of NIMHANS through hub and spoke model. A plan has been made to make this service available in all parts of the state in the coming days,” Sudhakar said.
He also said that under the KaBHI initiative, ASHA workers will also be trained to counsel and treat those in distress.
“Under KaBHI 122 primary health care doctors have been trained across Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Bangalore South. There has been a significant improvement in terms of their knowledge in neurological disorders. We have also set up Brain Health Clinics which is one of their kind developed for neurological care at secondary care hospitals,” said P Rajani, deputy director, department of health and family welfare, Karnataka.