Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday inaugurated the 'Brain Health Clinic', said to be a first-of-its-kind initiative in the entire country. The Brain Health Clinic will serve as nodal centres to diagnose, treat, refer and follow-up patients with common neurological disorders and ensure that they receive multi-disciplinary care, including counselling, physiotherapy, rehabilitation and disability benefits.
The BHC has been set up under the Karnataka Brain Health Initiative (KaBHI) at Bengaluru’s Jayanagara government hospital here. The Minister at the 'World Brain Day-2022' event organized at NIMHANS, stated that treatment for mental health will be available at the 243 'Namma' clinics that will be started in Bengaluru.
Noting that the main focus of the KaBHI initiative is to train PHC doctors to diagnose and provide primary care for brain and mental health issues including stroke, epilepsy, parkinson’s, brain tumor and dementia, Sudhakar said the initiative focuses on training ASHA workers to screen people for such mental health issues which greatly increases speed of diagnosis and treatment, potentially offering a complete cure to some of these diseases.
KaBHI is the first of its kind initiative in India with the objective to promote brain health in the community from PHCs to secondary level district hospitals and NIMHANS at the tertiary level, a release from the Minister's office said.
“Doctors working in most rural PHCs are MBBS doctors and lack skills and knowledge to diagnose mental health issues. With the help of NIMHANS, we have trained 100 such PHC doctors to make mental health treatment more accessible at primary and secondary levels," he said.
With this, people from far off places need not come all the way to NIMHANS unless there is need for tertiary care, he said, adding that "this will also allow fast diagnosis which leads to better treatment which in turn can potentially lead to a complete cure."
The Minister also stated that the union government was on its way to announce a new 'Tele-Manas' initiative which is based on 'E-Manas', a platform pioneered by Karnataka.
E-Manas is an online platform where patients, mental health professionals and mental health establishments could register which will greatly increase access to mental health. A total of 153 mental health establishments, 259 mental health professionals and 9,030 patients have registered on E-Manas.
(With PTI inputs)