GUWAHATI, June 26 � Free bone marrow transplant for the children suffering from thalassemia or blood cancer would now become a reality with the State government taking up a number of welfare health schemes that also include free lever transplant and regular healthcare for diabetes and blood pressure patients in rural areas.
At the commencement of the seventh phase of free treatment for children with hole in their heart, State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced today that soon the government scheme would also include free bone marrow transplantation for children.
�We have taken up this matter with the Narayana Hrudayalaya and soon, the scheme would be launched. This would be beneficial for families of children suffering from thalassemia or blood cancer. Recently, free liver transplantation of two children was done and we are also considering more such transplantation for children. The State government would bear the cost of journey to the hospital, surgery, medicines and accommodation,� he said.
Till date, 3,707 children have been screened in various camps held in medical colleges and district levels and 2,122 children have been sent for treatment at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Institute of Cardiac Science. The free congenital heart disease (CHD) treatment programme includes newborn babies to 12-year-old children of families having annual income of Rs six lakh or below. The patient along with one parent is provided free to and fro air travel from Guwahati to Bengaluru or Kolkata, depending upon the case.
�Average cost of such operation under normal condition is Rs 1.5 lakh. However, under critical condition the cost may escalate up to Rs 15 lakh. Till now, the government has spent Rs 18 crore on this scheme. The new phase starting today has registered 445 patients who would be sent in different batches within next two months,� added Sarma.
The government is also mulling over the plan to start regular healthcare in the rural areas. Under the scheme, monthly check-up would be held regularly in 26,000 villages of the State. Patients with diabetes, pressure etc., would receive monthly dose of medicines free of cost under this scheme.
An interactive session with the parents of patients was also held on the occasion.