‘Lack of facilities at govt set-up put ailing kids to huge inconvenience’
Srinagar: Kashmir-based cardiologists have recommended over 300 Valley children for free cardiac surgeries by a Rotary Club to treat congenital heart disease in them as government tertiary-care hospitals lack necessary facilities.
A group of cardiologists and medical workers have screened nearly 400 children born with heart defects at GB Pant Hospital and recommended over 300 of them for free cardiac surgeries at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Delhi.
The free open heart surgeries for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) have been sponsored by Rotary Club, Rajouri for children below 18 years while Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi and Department of Health, J&K is coordinating the program.
“We are running this free treatment program under ‘Gift of Life scheme targeting children from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families with congenital heart disorders. This year we have screened a record number of children during six days of screening program at GB Pant Hospital,” Chief Coordinator North West India for Rotary Gift of Life, K.K Langer told Kashmir Reader.
He said children with CHD were usually neglected in absence of proper treatment facilities in the government sector.
“We have conducted nearly seven camps under Rotary Gift of Life program in the past and more than 500 children from J&K underwent open heart surgeries at Fortis Heart Institute and other hospitals in Delhi free of cost. This year alone we have screened nearly 400 children and doctors recommended 300 of them for open heart surgeries,” he said.
According to Cardiologists, the program has been a blessing for poor children with serious heart ailments.
Dr Manzoor Ahmad Andrabi, a Cardiologist at Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar said many children with congenital heart disease had lived a miserable life due to the lack of proper treatment to them.
He said there had been a scheme Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) launched by Government of India in 2013 which sponsored many heart ailment treatment for children.
“RBSK is a very good scheme for poor and ailing children. However, in some case it doesn’t help due to lack of advanced facilities for open heart surgeries in J&K,” he said.
“We operate a small number of children for Congenital Heart Disease because complex surgeries are not done in Jammu and Kashmir due to lack of facilities for such operations. We are happy that the Rotary Club is organizing such programs for kids of less privileged class,” he told Kashmir Reader.
The last screening of selected children will be done on August 6 by a team of doctors led by Dr Krishna Iyer from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute Delhi for free heart surgery.
“He will be assisted by Dr Radha Krishan, Dr Kuntal Roy Chowdary and a local Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr Amber Bashir,” said Ghulam Ahmad, a local coordinator.
“All the selected children will be provided free open heart surgery at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute New Delhi for the Disorders. The family has to bear only boarding and lodging for its stay. However, another NGO has also come up with subsidized facilities for them at a Hotel in Delhi,” Ahmad added.