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In India 1.5 million deaths are caused each year by cardiovascular illnesses.  25% of the population suffer high blood pressure. In rural India the main reasons for this are  inappropriate nutrition and a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The villages in rural India are often very far from or have poor access to the health centres, so older people do not have the opportunity to check their blood pressure or
have a general health revision.  Cardiovascular complaints are not discovered until  a stroke, paralysis or an acute pain occurs and  then it is almost too late.
We know a number of people in the villages where we work who  have suffered the consequences and have taken them to a health centre for treatment, in some cases physiotherapy too.
On of our recent cases was that of Manjari Devi who lives in the village of Jaitiya where we work.
We met her while we were distributing blankets over Christmas when she told us about her terrible sufferings.
Neither her husband nor her children knew how to help with constant pains so fierce they reduced her to tears. The whole family have always worked in the fields as labourers, with little food  and not enough money to buy fresh vegetables or pay a good doctor.
A year ago Manjari Devi suffered terrible pain and was taken to different local doctors who are basically medical salesmen and could do nothing for her.  The family had lost all hope and could not see any solution to the problem.
Long distances, lack of transport, lack of education and ignorance of how to contact health centres outside their villages cause many people to suffer in silence illnesses which can be cured if treated by a good medical professional.
Last month we took Manjari Devi to the Shakyamuni Clinic in Bodhgaya, an hour away from her village, where they found her blood pressure was very high and gave her medicine to bring it down and stop the pain.  The treatment will be continued but her husband and children are prepared to support her and come to collect the medicines.
Manjari Devi and her family are happy to have finally found a little peace after so much suffering. We will still watch over her condition  and support her with transport and help in the Clinic.
We are most grateful to all members who make it possible that in our Social Programme we can discover and attend to people like Manjari Devi. We also give our thanks to the Shakyamuni Clinic for their cooperation.