A medical camp conducted by the district heath officer at Wada has revealed that one out of every five children from the tribal talukas of Thane may be victims of severe heart ailments.
Echocardiogram was conducted on 125 children in the 4-15 age groups, and alarmingly, 25 were found to have abnormal heart movements.
Most of these children come from poor and socially backward families, "The affected kids are from Wada, Vikramgadh, Jawahar, Palghar, Vasai and Bhiwandi talukas of Thane. All of them will require to undergo a heart surgery," an official said.
Dr Maharudra Ghuge, medical officer at Wada, said, "Heart diseases are increasingly becoming a problem among school-going children in the adivasi heartland. Poor eating habits or malnourishment, though, is not the only reason for the rise in such cases. It is more of a hereditary problem here."
"The children come from poor families but are definitely not malnourished. Though we have not carried out any survey to understand their socio-economic status and food habits, such deficiencies in the children are generally passed on to them from someone in the family,'' Ghuge said.
"In some of the cases, the children were found to suffer from Atrial Septal Defect, generally known as a hole in the heart, while in most of the cases the heart movement was abnormal_the beats were either too fast or too slow. Generally, such children tend to get tired fast," he added.