At the Central Government Health Services (CGHS), Pune, a year-long special pulmonary rehabilitation programme has shown promise. Preliminary analysis of patients shows it has helped in improving the quality of life and reducing breathlessness in chronic lung disease patients.
Dr Uday Kelkar, additional director, CGHS Pune, said a total of 122 patients had enrolled for the programme, which commenced a year ago. “A total of 76 patients completed the full course and remaining are at the completion stage. Preliminary analysis of the medical data of patients completing the programme has shown that it reduces symptoms of breathlessness and improves physical capacity, thus, improving quality of life, which cannot be achieved with medicine alone,” Kelkar told The Indian Express.
The number of cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in India increased from 28·1 million in 1990 to 55·3 million in 2016. COPD is one of the leading non-communicable causes of death globally, as well as in India.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help people with long-term lung conditions with symptoms, including breathlessness and fatique, which seriously impact their lives despite treatment with medicine.
The programme combines exercise training with education about ways patients can help keep themselves healthy, said Kelkar.
“The unique feature of the CGHS programme is the use of traditional Pranayama breathing techniques along with modern physiotherapy to help patient reduce their symptoms. CGHS Pune provides services to nearly 1.5 lakh beneficiaries and has nine wellness centres along with four pathology laboratories. A team of healthcare professionals was formed out of existing workforce. Members of the team work two extra hours every Friday for the programme,” Kelkar said.
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