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College’s tie-up with Canadian varsity helps village

Staff Reporter

MoU for more research on hypertension

— PHOTO: R. SHIVAJI RAO

PACT SIGNED: Valli Alagappan, managing trustee of Omayal Achi College of Nursing and Steven Franklin, vice-president of Research, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, exchanging documents at a function held in Chennai on Monday.

CHENNAI: A 14-year-old collaboration between a city-based nursing college and a Canadian university has benefited the residents of Arakkampakkam, a village near Chennai.

Students from the Omayal Achi College of Nursing along with the College of Medicine attached to the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, conducted a research on the residents of the village on their awareness about stroke prevention, risk factors, and the signs and symptoms.

The study showed that few in the village were aware of hypertension and consequently made the institutions focus on initiatives to create awareness among the residents. “After educating them, we evaluated their knowledge. Now over 80 per cent of those in the 18-65 age group population taken for the study can detect the symptoms,” said college Principal S. Kanchana.

Students from both institutions have learnt many lessons from their collaboration. “We looked at how blood pressure is measured here and we found we had the same problems,” said Vivian R. Ramsden, Research Director in Family Medicine department at the University.

Both institutions have now come together and on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding for further research with the aim of creating awareness and formulating treatment strategies for hypertension and stroke. “The similarities in [nursing] practice are astounding and yet we have so much to learn about primary health care from my colleagues here in India,” Dr. Ramsden said.

The result of the research is that 39 communities served by the Omayal Achi Health Centre would benefit from a community-based stroke prevention programme to be rolled out shortly, said Valli Alagappan, college’s managing trustee, who signed the MoU with Steven Franklin, vice-president of Research, University of Saskatchewan.

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