Rotary to provide lifesaving cardiac surgery for eight children with congenital heart defects
(Delhi, INDIA - 8 December 2008) – Through Rotary’s Gift of Life program, the National Heart Institute and Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre in Delhi will perform free, life saving open-heart surgeries on eight children this month.
Four of the children are from Arunachal Pradesh, India, including ten-year-old Tamos Sinkum and two-year-old Gejom Bagra, who will both undergo surgery on 09 December. Ten-month-old Tadar and nine-year-old Biku are scheduled for surgery the following week. Kabuuka Emmauel, a sixteen-year-old boy from Uganda, is also scheduled for open heart surgery and valve replacement this month.
Yasodhi Annuthara of Sri Lanka, born on 21 May 08 with a congenital disease, and eleven-year-old Anisha Thapa of Kathmandu, Nepal are expected to reach Delhi next week for open heart surgery.. Two-year-old Sania from Jammu Kashmir, will undergo surgery at Escorts Hospital tomorrow.
According to health authorities, an estimated seven out of 1,000 children in India suffer from congenital heart diseases, yet few can afford the high cost of surgery required for them to live normal and healthy lives.
“The families of these children suffering from chronic heart illness have no monetary resources and would never be in a position to raise enough money for the surgery,” said A. C. Peter, a member of Rotary Club of Delhi East End and the national coordinator of Gift of Life. “Rotary came forward to reach out to the children and their family.”
Launched by Rotary clubs in India in 2002, the Gift of Life project helps hundreds of children born with heart ailments by providing free cardiac surgery, medicine, food, accommodation, hospitality, boarding and lodging. The Rotary Club of Delhi East End, which established its Gift of Life program three years ago, has provided lifesaving surgeries for 300 children over the past three years.
Many children from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh have also come to India and undergone successful heart surgery under the Gift of Life. Peter emphasizes, “This project is a classic example how Rotary can promote peace and understanding between nations through international humanitarian service.”
Rotary clubs in India plan to arrange free surgeries for 100 more needy children. They will continue to work closely with the Delhi, National Heart Institute, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, and the Indian medical community to achieve this goal.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary is in There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who are members of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. www.rotary.org.
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