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TN launches internet de-addiction centre, other specialty units at medical college hospitals

The hospital now also has units that cater to cognitive rehabilitation, post-natal depression, newborn hearing special screening and emergency care and rehabilitation centre for homeless, mentally ill patients.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
December 14, 2021 3:11:01 pm
Health Minister Ma SubramanianHealth Minister Ma Subramanian said on Tuesday saying that these clinics were not functioning properly (File photo)

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian launched five specialty units, including one for internet de-addiction, at the Omandurar Government Medical College Hospital on Monday as promised in the Assembly a few months ago.

Besides the internet de-addiction centre, the hospital now also has units that cater to cognitive rehabilitation, post-natal depression, newborn hearing special screening and emergency care and rehabilitation centre for homeless, mentally ill patients.

Speaking at the event, Subramanian said the initiatives will soon be extended to all government medical college hospitals in the state. The minister said many people today are increasingly addicted to the internet, especially to online gambling and pornography, which ends up isolating them from friends and family. “Excessive use of smartphones, fuelled by prolonged lockdowns, has affected people’s physical and mental health,” he added. Special counselling will be provided at the internet de-addiction centres to help reduce smartphone usage among children.

Briefing about the cognitive rehabilitation centre, he said each medical college hospital will set aside 10 beds for the elderly suffering from illnesses like dementia and for other mentally challenged persons. “A team of psychiatrists and nurses have been formed to examine the patients daily and take care of their requirements, the cost for which will be borne entirely by the government,” he said.

The post-natal depression counselling centre will help women battling depression after childbirth. “As many as 22 per cent of women experience depression after giving birth,” the minister pointed out. Under the emergency care and rehabilitation centre, homeless patients who are mentally ill will be picked up and admitted to the hospitals. Separate wards have been set up for male and female patients.

Besides therapy, these centres are set to engage patients in traditional games like paramapatham (snake and ladder) and pallangkuzhi, besides carroms and so on.

Over 12k international passengers tested

Commenting on preventive measures taken by the government in the wake of the Omicron variant, the minister said RT-PCR tests are being done at all four international airports in the state for all passengers arriving from 12 at-risk countries. Random RT-PCR testing (2%) is done on passengers arriving from other countries.

According to the minister, till 8 am on Monday, 10,710 passengers who arrived from at-risk countries and 1,567 who reached from other countries were tested. Among them, 25 have tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently undergoing treatment in Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Nagercoil, Coimbatore and Bengaluru. He added that their samples were sent for genome sequencing to various labs in Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. The results of four people have returned negative for the Omicron variant of Covid.

The minister said vaccination is the main way to arrest the spread of the virus and if it is duly followed, the government will not be forced to impose lockdowns. A total of 94 lakh people are due for their second dose of the vaccine, he pointed out.

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