Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela inaugurated a three-day medical camp offering free treatment for heart diseases in the capital Malé on Saturday (August 9).
The medical camp with Dr Vivek Gupta, a specialist from the Asiri Surgical Hospital in Sri Lanka, is taking place at the Dhamana Veshi urban primary health centre in the Thalassemia centre on Majeedhee Magu.
The camp was jointly organised by government-run Dhamana Veshi and the Corona Sunrise International Pvt Ltd security firm.
Speaking at an opening ceremony, Dr Shakeela reportedly said that treatment of heart diseases was a “major challenge” facing the Maldives.
Two patients selected at the camp would be offered free treatment at the Asiri Surgical Hospital funded by Sunrise Corona, she added.
The health minister noted that the Maldives has the highest incidence of fatalities from non-contagious diseases in the South Asia region.
According to the health ministry, a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation from 2004 to 2012 found that 47 percent of Maldivians were overweight and 18.8 percent were smokers.
The most common heart diseases in the Maldives include blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, ischemic heart disease, and myocardial infarction or heart attacks.
A team of Indian doctors will be conducting medical camps across the central atolls until Friday (June 20), having treated 133 patients in Thulusdhoo, Kaafu atoll, yesterday.
The newly arrived team of four doctors from the Indian Defence Forces, led by Col RK Thapar, will be accompanied by specialists from Malé’s Senahiya military hospital, on a tour of the central atolls.
The team – specialising in internal medicine, dermatology, dentistry, paediatrics and general surgery – plans to visit Kaafu, Alif Alif, Alif Dhaal and Vaavu atolls this week.
During the Maldives-India friendship celebrations in January, a similar scheme saw 2000 patients treated by Indian doctors.
The‘Dosti-Ekuverikan’ friendship week in January also included a free ‘Eye Camp’ providing free consultation and services for more than 500 people in Malé and Hulhumalé.
A medical camp organised jointly by Naval officers of the warship USS Momsum and medical staff of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) took place yesterday at the Children’s Park in Male’.
The event is part of a series of social programmes to be conducted with the visiting American Naval officers and MNDF.
Dental information, fitness checks and instruction on first-aid and fire emergencies were offered to children at Saturday’s camp.