Bridging the Gap between Community and Cardiologists

Jamatia, Biplab
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The prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) among adults is reported to be 3- 4% and 8 – 10% in rural and urban areas respectively. The prevalence of CHD has increased considerably in India, in the last few decades. It is estimated that there were approximately 29.8 million patients with CHD in 2003. Cardiovascular diseases attributed to 25% of death among the adult population in 2005. // The present health infrastructure produces approximately 150 DM/DNB cardiologists in India annually leading to a gap between the need and availability of trained cardiologists. In India 25% of population live below the poverty line and more than 75% are from the rural area, whereas, trained cardiologists are mostly concentrated in the tertiary setups located in metro cities. A Post Graduate Doctor in Medicine undergoes training in the department of cardiology for only 4-6 months. Both Post Graduate Doctors in Medicine and MBBS graduates attend to cardiovascular cases in small towns and rural areas. // Hence, to address the needs of the community, the School of Health Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has started a two year full-time training programme to create a-middle order health manpower in cardiology. The objective of the programme is to train medical graduates effectively to enable early recognition, management and prevention of common cardiovascular diseases (Non invasive cardiology) and other life style diseases such as, diabetes mellitus. // The affordability and accessibility of the community has been taken into consideration while designing the curriculum and the implementation strategies of the programme. Learners have been given opportunity to train in different departments and posted in various areas like management of common cardiovascular diseases (6 months), ECG and Stress Testing (3 months), Echocardiography (3 months), ICU/CCU management (6 months), Paediatrics Cardiology (3 months), preventive cardiology (3 months) in this programme. Self learning materials, 33 video programmes (1260 minutes) and monthly live interactive teleconference (90 minutes) has been incorporated in this programme. Beside these, 50 theory counselling sessions, 25 guest lectures, seminars, journal club and case discussion has been taken care in every training center. Hands on skills training is provided to every learner as prescribed in this programme. // The top most cardiac institutes/hospitals across the country have been identified as training centers as per the norms of the University. This programme has begun with 116 students in 16 training centers in 2006. 1618 students have been enrolled till date in 70 training centres in and more than 800 candidates have successfully completed their training. More than 320 cardiologists are involved as academic counselors in this training programme. A majority of trained doctors have been fan out to smaller health set ups across the country and bridge the gap in cardiac care. // Paper ID: 120

Skills Development,Health,Training,Open and Distance Learning (ODL)