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----------WELCOME TO Ladakh Heart Foundation----------WELCOME TO Ladakh Heart Foundation----------

The district of Ladakh (Fig. 2) lies at the border with Tibet at the most eastern corner of the State of Kashmir. Placed at very high altitude this is a region with very low population. It's surrounded by the great mountain chain of Karakoram and Himalaya. It's also called "little Tibet" or "the last Shangri-la". This land shelters a millennial culture where the monasteries and the medieval temples (gompas) which keep invaluable artistical treasures. The true repositories of an ancient knowledge, this land is one of the few places where tradition has been manteined alive until present days.

Project objective:

The Ladakh Heart Foundation has concluded that the most effective solution to the problem is to embark upon a programme for the prevention and control of cardio-vascular disease in Ladakh (the community heart and health partnership). It aims to prevent and control diabetes too.



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The goal of this project is to teach local health workers to recognise the symptoms of heart disease. It is also to train them in the early diagnosis, treatment and appropiate referral oh heart patients. Training will involve identifying the possible streptococcal throat infection and administrating Benzathine penicillin (after a proper sensitivity test). Instruction on how to maintain accurate records will be given too. Health workers will be encouraged to record all cases of congenital heart disease and rheumativ fever, to ensure all patients receive adequate treatment. They will be required to record the blood pressure of every adult in their jurisdiction, once a year. Doctors and health workers shall be taught and encouraged to use the counseling skill in dealing with heart patients, smokers, hypersensitive, etc.

We also plan to educate and empower the local community about health issues, concerned with heart disease and diabetes. This includes implementing campaigns and consoling people to increase their awareness of issues such as the correlation between sore throats and Rheumatic fever, about the importance of controlling hypertension, decreasing sodium and fat intake. The target is to decrease the sodium intake of local men from 183.6 mmol, in 24 hours (the present average in Ladakh) to 83 mmol in 24 hours. For women it is to reduce the average intake from 196.2 mmol, in 24 hours to 96 mmol in 24 hour. The idea is to reduce saturated fats by 15 gram per day. Train Health Workers of 180 health centres in the district identifying possible step-throat infection, administering Benzathine Penicillin after proper teat done and maintaining accurate records.

The Ladakh Heart Foundation wishes to initiate a general awareness campaign on the negative effects of drinking excessive alcohol, with a view to banning alcohol from social functions, curbing accessibility of hard drinks from wet canteens and restricting the opening times of bars.


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Control of Alcohol Consumption

General public awareness campaign concerning the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

Banning of alcohol from social function, curbing of easily accessible hard drinks from wet canteens and restriction in timing of bars.

Our desire is to increase the activity of our present anti-smoking campaign. The Ladakh Heart Foundation's aim is to achieve a smoke free home and work environment, this will be done in collaboration with Ladakh Action on Smoking and Health (LASH) and the society for the prevention of cancer. The aim is decrease smoking in the Ladakhi adult population from 22% (at present) to as little as possible.

Tobacco Smoking.

In collaboration with Ladakh Action on Smoking and Health (LASH) and society for prevention of cancer, Ladakh Heart Foundation will ensure sustained anti-smoking campaign to attain smoke free home and work environment.
Doctors and health workers will be requested to spend more time in counseling with smokers.
All our efforts to be made to bring down the smoking prevalence in Ladakhi adult population from to present 22% to as little as possible.
The Ladakh Heart Foundation plans to promote healthy eating and reduce obesity. People will be encouraged to attain their ideal body weight, by taking responsability for their diet and exercise. Regular exercise will be promoted, with the aim of empathizing the necessity, value and pleasure of life long physical activity. Such campaigns may suggest that children from farming communities partake in vigorous physical farming activities, when off school and that middle aged and elderly people, become involved in socio-cultural and religious rituals-cum-exercises. Weighing scales are to be made available in health centres to encourage people to weight themselves in appropiate and consistent clothing.


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Promotion of Regular Physical Activity.

Health Promotional programmes to be provided with aim to emphasize the necessity, value and pleasure of life long physical activity.
Children of farming communities to take part in vigorous physical farming activities when off school in order to keep themselves fit.
For middle aged and elderly people, socio-cultural and religious rituals-cum-exercises to be promoted.

The organisation wishes to prevent to control non-insulin-dependant diabetes. This can be done by educating diabetics about diet, weight control and disease management, as these factors are important in the control of the disease.

Prevention and control of Diabetes.

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The development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in inextricably linked to physical activity and obesity. Therefore measure mentioned under 5.0 (promotion of positive dietary factor and reduction of obesity) will prevent and control diabetes.
Educating diabetes about diet, weight control and disease management will form essential activity of Ladakh Heart Foundation.

We propose to provide better equipment locally for patients. Ultimately, the Ladakh Heart Foundation aims to build a diagnostic centre (as a sustainable and essential community facility). However, this plan falls outside the scope of this proposal, as the fundamental education, training and prevention/control schemes are the most urgent. The diagnostic centre when stablished will be a great boost to cardio-vascular preventive programmes.

The site for the construction of the Centre has already been donated to the LHF by Ladakh autonomous Hill Development Council and J&K Government out of gratitude his work since 1997.

Construction of the Health Centre "Ladakh Heart Foundation".

We are working in the project of the construction of a Health Centre. This centre will be specialized in the development of preventive, diagnostic and treating activities of cardiocirculatory diseases.

The programmes of the new centre will give support two different activities:
1 Preventive: precocious diagnostic of rheumatic fever to prevent the rheumatic cardiac diseases. Prevention of the risk factors of cardio-circulatory diseases: addiction to tobacco, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes and hypertension. The LHF has already began preventive programmes, but they have a very deficient infrastructure.
2 Diagnostic and treatment: valvular heart disease produced by rheumatic fever and congenital cardiac diseases. The LHF nowadays is financing the surgical operations of cardio-thoracic diseases of the patients who need it in hospitals at New Delhi. With the creation of the centre all the medical treatments and in the future some surgical could be developed at Leh (in the second phase an operation room will be constructed).

In this area of India there is a very high incidence of cardiac diseases and the district of Ladakh has no resources to face up to these expensive operations. Since 1997, when the LHF began its activity, the cases of rheumatic fever have drop down significantly.

Below you can click on the photos to see the construction of the Health Centre "Ladakh Heart Foundation".


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