It is really a great honor and privilege for me to be here on the platform of CSI- NIC 2016 at Hyderabad. You will be very happy to know for the first time the CSI has achieved a nice feather in their cap and that is a Healthy Heart Initiative Awareness Campaign in the school for the first time. School health especially on healthy heart is a huge project and I think initiative for the first time has been done by a Kolkata group lead by Dr. Santanu Guha who is the president of CSI 2016. He is right with me here in the studio. (01:00) May I ask Dr. Santanu Guha, how you got this idea to conduct this survey in a school, The Healthy Heart Initiative, and what are the observations, how exactly you performed, what were the objectives, and what is the achievement and from here how you will go further.
Actually, this was a joint project of Kolkata Medical College and TUFTS University, USA. We identified some middle schools at the block level, usually in the age group of 12 to 14, to those students, we in fact identified a number of students and the total number was more than 1000 in different schools. (02:00) Our objective was to see the health awareness amongst the rural school children that is number one and at the back of our mind the thinking was if they can be motivated to be more aware about the cardiovascular health, they can spread it in their family and in the neighborhood and that is how this awareness is going to increase. With that thing in mind, we conducted a school survey. This involved a number of schools in a particular block of Medinipur District of West Bengal. The protocol was initially with the permission of the teachers and the school board, we identified the students of that particular age group,(03:00) told them what we are going to do and initially we give them a questionnaire to see what is their existing level of cardiovascular health awareness. Very basic things were there regarding smoking, regarding diabetes, regarding heart attack, and the likes. A protocol was made. They answered these things. These papers were kept, then a lecture of around 20 minutes was given on the same issues on which the questions were there. After the lecture, these students were given the same question paper again to see what is their quantum of improvement. We found there is a statistically significant improvement in their scores (04:00) but we are little disappointed. We thought that this will be even more spectacular but the difference was not spectacular. This perhaps is because of the fact that the existing level of health awareness is very low particularly in our rural areas and more efforts are required to increase this awareness. This paper was published in this particular issue of the Indian Heart Journal and there was an editorial comment on this particular paper.
I think Santanu it is a brilliant idea according to me if the CSI create a sensitization in the school children whether the urban, semi-urban, or rural, some kind of awareness. I think it is just a beginning. (05:00) In the beginning of course, we may not get the result the way we expect. We will have some hurdles. We will over a period of time forego all those and I am sure what we achieve, it will take some time, but it is a brilliant initiative that we go to a village and conduct this trial.
It is not one, you know it is the entire block, we visited several villages.
So, you visited several villages, for the first time a hitech CSI has gone to such a status..
On the contrary, I personally feel it is CSI as a national body and a Tufts University make it a global approach. It is a global initiative. I think in my opinion, it is an excellent initiative. We should modify the protocol. We should make it more easy, (06:00) more practical and I am sure in the years to come if we protocolize in such a manner that it becomes more informative, I am sure more data will come. But, I just would like to ask one question Dr. Santanu Guha, whose idea was this, whose vision was this?
Actually, myself and a past student of mine who is presently in Tufts, we are in collaboration on various papers and while discussing, it came to our mind and we decided to go for this. Our objective was little different and this can be magnified in a meaningful way. So, we do not have any national program on school health. Regarding the awareness of the commonly occurring diseases particularly the non-communicable diseases, there is hardly any program which is going on in the schools at a national level. (07:00). So, if the improvement is significant and if we can modify it for its betterment, I think CSI can help in formulating a national program on school health in this particular aspect.
I think I really need to compliment Dr. Santanu Guha, the president of CSI because it is something new which is happening in CSI this year. We can call this program as a CSI School Healthy Heart Initiative. This is going to be great. It is going to create a huge impact. The name of CSI will come because you are doing it and School Healthy Heart Initiative is a positive way. If we go for risk stratification for CAD or a heart attack, it gives a negative meaning. But, talking of a Healthy Heart Initiative with CSI will be brilliant and I am sure in the EC or in the General Body Meeting, let us make it a big momentum and I am sure it is going to catch up the (08:00) media and full National Ministry of Health Government of India can also extend its help and various national and international organizations may join us.
We can certainly discuss this thing in our executive committee meeting.
Thank you very much.