Health Minister inaugurates first black fungus free help line

Ranchi:   Health Minister, Banna Gupta, Friday unveiled a Black Fungus free 24 hour free helpline number, launched by Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital , Ranchi to educate, counsel, assist and dispel fears on   post Covid black fungal infection, or Mucormycosis, that is spreading in the state and elsewhere.

This is the first such innovative helpline launched by Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital, Ranchi, an NABH certified eye care specialty hospital, in Jharkhand.

Banna Gupta, also inaugurated the largest ever Mass Online Awareness Campaign organised by Women Doctors Wing, Indian Medical Association, Jharkhand, in association with Health Department, Govt. of Jharkhand, in which tribal religious leaders known in Jharkhand as Pahans, Sahiyas, Anganwadi Workers, Sakhi Mandal members and state para medical staff, aggregating to more than 2 lakh, were galvanised to fight  Covid vaccine hesitancy,fear and misgivings on the side  effects of  Covid 19 vaccines. Civil surgeons of all districts also joined the peogramme. The state has the capacity to vaccinate 2.46 lakh beneficiaries though actual numbers are less than 50 percent capacity.

Speaking on the occasion, Banna Gupta, state Health Minister, said,” A lot of suggestions have been given by eminent doctors and specialists from the country and abroad, during the online programme. The state government, chief minister Hemant Soren has been working overtime to beat the pandemic. Our Prime Minister had taken the lead by taking the vaccine and proving that the Covid vaccines are safe. As pointed out by Dr.Ravi Kashyap, the Covid vaccines are safe for all including lactating mothers, pregnant women and with no side effects on menstrual health or reproductive health.. We are also going all out to dispel the many fears and skepticism surrounding vaccines. The state government is committed to ensure vaccination for all eligible age groups in a given period of time”.

Dr.Bibhuti  Kashyap, MD, FRCS (Glasgow), MRCS(Edinburg) and deputy director, Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital , Ranchi, spoke on the symptoms of black fungus infection and dispelled the many myths surrounding spread of the disease.

Black Fungus or Mucormycosis,is a rare disease .It is known to affect people who have underlying health problems  like uncontrolled diabetes, people suffering from HIV, cancer or are taking medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. To combat the disease, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of black fungus infection because it can turn dangerous if left untreated. Mucor  primarily affects the nose and sinus. Common symptoms include nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, headache, running nose, facial pain, swelling in cheeks and eyes , loss of vision and pain in eyes etc. Consult your doctor or go to an ENT specialist at the earliest and refrain from self medication, Dr. Bibbhuti Kashyap stressed.

Dr.Bharti Kashyap, chairperson, Women Doctors Wing, IMA, Jharkhand, said that out of 23 state run Sadar Hospitals , Women Doctors Wing has helped to equip 11 Sadar Hospitals with state of the art Digital Video Colposcope and Cryo Machines for treatment of cervical pre-cancer and also trained gynaecologists and obstetricians working in government  hospitals in treatment of cervical pre cancer with help of expert Oncologists of international repute from USA, Delhi and Kolkata.

However, we have learned that most of these sophisticated Cryo machines are today lying idle for want of funds to refill nitrous oxide gas cylinders, putting lives of hundreds of rural women diagnosed of cervical pre-cancer at risk. I urge the state government to provide the needed funds and ensure that these sophisticated cervical pre-cancer treatment machines are made functional at the earliest, to save the women of the state, Dr.Bharti pleaded.

In Jharkhand 48 cases of Black Fungus have been identified so far. Child ICUs are fast coming up in Jharkhand with large-scale training being given to doctors, including senior doctors and specialists. The entire health care system is being geared up to combat MISC in children. Proper care is also being taken to improve logistics to combat black fungus.

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