JIPMER director Dr T S Ravikumar announced that a centre of excellence for lung diseases would be established as part of the institution’s golden jubilee high impact projects.
The decision to this effect was taken after a meeting of the various departments, representatives of doctors, nurses, employees and students held on Monday, the director told reporters on the occasion of World Asthma Day observed on Tuesday.
An Asthma clinic, exclusively for children, will start functioning from Wednesday, Dr Ravikumar said and added that this was aimed at providing excellent care for children affected with asthma under one roof in JIPMER Women and Children Hospital (JWCH).
Dr C Venkatesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, who was present at the media conference, said the focus of the clinic is to establish an advanced lab for assessment of lung infection and airway inflammation in children.
A dedicated lab for allergy testing in children will be set up. This lab will identify groups of children for specialised services like immunotherapy and to address asthma attack, which is triggered at the community level and in schools.
Pointing out that lung diseases will become the second biggest killer by 2020, Dr Ravikumar explained that the centre of excellence will be a virtual one and once a patient’s disease is diagnosed, then he or she will be directed to experts in specialty clinics in JIPMER.
Stating that several building blocks are already being laid since last year towards the setting up of the centre of excellence, he said the centre will treat everyone from new-borns to geriatrics and focus on birth cohorts, childhood asthma, adolescent respiratory illness and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (in adults caused by smoking), which is predicted to become a prominent killer disease by 2030.
The director said the focus will also be on Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, hospital acquired infections, community-acquired pneumonia, TB, occupational health problems(for instance police and healthcare workers), smoking-related illness, ambient pollution, lung cancer and pulmonary rehabilitation including yoga.
Dr Saka Vinod Kumar, who addressed the reporters, said that in adults, around 1,700 new patients and 7,000 follow-up cases were attended to last year at the Respiratory Allergy and Immunotherapy Clinic, which is already functioning.
JIPMER director Dr T S Ravikumar said President Pranab Mukherjee has been invited to grace the golden jubilee function of the institutions to be held in July this year.