Maintaining that the pulmonary health camps recently conducted for more than 300 Goa police personnel have revealed that 90 per cent of them are in fine shape as far as their pulmonary functions are concerned, while rest suffered from pulmonary problems ranging from breathing-related allergies to asthma, the government on Saturday stated that furthermore, pulmonary complications along with sleep apnoea, a serious sleep disorder, results in 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the road accidents involving passenger and goods vehicle drivers.
The information came during the launch of the Manipal Centre for Sleep and Breathing under the department of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the Manipal Hospital in the presence of Minister of Transport Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Transport said that he would soon direct his department to hold related camps for the drivers of the Kadamba Transport Corporation, with the KTC having around 700 regular drivers and 200 drivers recruited on monthly basis. Dhavalikar also admitted that he himself has been suffering from the sleep apnoea condition for over a decade and in the absence of the treatment in Goa, had to visit Chennai.
Unit head at the hospital, Girish Babu Bommakanti, speaking on the occasion said that untreated sleep apnoea remains one of the biggest reasons why truck drivers turn into drowsy drivers. “We did carry pulmonary function test (PFT) for some state police personnel, in Panaji, Margao and Mapusa, screening vulnerable groups like police inspectors and traffic police to test the fitness of their lungs,” he informed, stating that sleep apnoea is potentially treatable condition.
Chief of the clinical services and head of the department of oncology at the Manipal Hospital Dr Shekhar Salkar said that the hospital has forwarded a proposal to the government as regards including sleep apnoea under the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana, the state insurance scheme, along with other medical conditions such as obesity-related bariatric surgery and so on, so that the people in general could be treated for such problems at the Manipal Hospital.
It was also informed that the overnight stay for a patient suffering from the sleep apnoea condition, at the Manipal Hospital for his or her complete diagnostic check-up costs around Rs 10,000.