CHENNAI: The hum of activity and the hustle bustle at Central railway station is a given at any point of time.
What took commuters by surprise on Thursday were the desks with medical equipment and volunteers checking people’s blood pressure.
For a change, all eyes were not glued on the departures board but rather at the people getting their blood pressure checked.
The BP screening camp was conducted by the TANKER Foundation on the occasion of World Kidney Day to kick off a slew of events for the rest of the week as part of the celebrations. Station Director Guhanesan inaugurated the event and lauded the initiatives of the foundation.
“It is befitting to spread awareness on World Kidney Day,” said Latha Kumaraswami, the managing trustee of the foundation who is also the Council Member of the IFKF (International Federation of Kidney Foundations) and a member of the steering committee of World Kidney Day.
“High BP is one of the leading causes of kidney failure and many people are not aware they have a BP problem till it is too late. The message we are hoping to drive home is ‘Less salt, less sugar, more water and regular exercise.’ We have 25 volunteers helping us with this screening camp and we are going to collate the results to help with studies.” The camp went on from 8 am to 2 pm.
“We pick one concept a year. This year we are focussing on salt and sugar intake,” said Rajalakshmi Ravi, Advisory Member and Head of Awareness and Prevention at TANKER Foundation.
Like a lot of others, Mohammed Shabeer was on his way to board his train to Katpadi when he caught sight of the posters for the screening camp.
“My BP is normal,” he said, with relief. “It is generally something that I ignore checking unless I have to go to the doctor. I got to know a lot about kidney disease through the pamphlet they provided me.”
Even for those like K Nagamma who works at the railway station, the camp came as a blessing. “I have high BP and am on medication,” she said. “The volunteers here told me I need to continue my medication and check my BP regularly. These kinds of camps are very useful for people like me because I do not need to take time off from work to go to the doctor for a check-up,” she said.