Bengaluru, July 23: Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday inaugurated a Brain Health Clinic under the Karnataka Brain Health Initiative (KaBHI) here at Jayanagar Government Hospital.
KaBHI aims to promote brain health from Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to secondary level district hospitals and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) at the tertiary level
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.
Further, 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.
Minister Sudhakar spoke at the World Brain Day-2022 event organised at NIMHANS and stated that treatment for mental health will be available at the 243 Namma Clinics which will be started in Bengaluru.
“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.
Sudhakar also spoke about the taboo and stigma associated with mental health. “Many people have wrong opinions, taboos and stigma about Mental health.
“If one is seen going to a counsellor or a psychiatrist, people think that there is something wrong with the person’s brain or that they are mad. Many don’t get to go because of this,” he said.
The initiative was launched in January 2022 by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on a pilot basis for Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Bengaluru South districts and will soon be extended across the state.
Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa, who is also a Kanandiga, has been made the ambassador for the initiative and Minister Sudhakar appreciated him during the event for readily agreeing to be the ambassador without expecting any remuneration.