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A life-saving programme

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A new life: Seven-year-old Mahankalamma, who underwent an open heart surgery, with DHO Tarsalappa and her grandparents in Motasugoor village in Sirguppa taluk on Sunday.
A new life: Seven-year-old Mahankalamma, who underwent an open heart surgery, with DHO Tarsalappa and her grandparents in Motasugoor village in Sirguppa taluk on Sunday.

Staff Correspondent

Yashaswini comes to the rescue of poor children

BELLARY: The family of seven-year-old Mahankalamma of Motasugoor village in Sirguppa taluk of Bellary district could do little apart from cursing its fate. Mahankalamma, a third standard student, had been diagnosed with a congenital heart disorder and required immediate surgery. The paediatrician the girl’s parents visited in Bellary city had warned them that any delay in surgery would prove fatal for their daughter.

“My son and daughter-in-law are agricultural labourers. How were we to arrange Rs. 2 lakh for the surgery? Except for cursing our fate and the girl’s, we could do nothing,” Mahankalamma’s grandfather Shivalingappa told The Hindu on Sunday.

To Mahankalamma’s help came the Government’s Yashaswini Health Insurance programme. During a check-up in her school she had fainted. The team of doctors who checked her found her suffering from a heart disorder and referred her to Narayan Hrudayalaya in Bangalore for an open heart surgery under the Yashaswini programme.

After that, things started moving at a fast pace with the staff of the Health Department taking steps to send her to Bangalore for surgery. The department officials also provided Mahankalamma’s family the bus fare.

She was admitted to the hospital on May 30 and was discharged on June 9 after an open-heart surgery free of cost. Mahankalamma is back in the village.

Like Mahankalamma, 15 more schoolchildren, suffering from congenital heart diseases, have been identified in the district and efforts are on to send them to Bangalore for surgery and further treatment. “We are happy that the scheme has benefited Mahankalamma. Another girl from Taranagar is under treatment at Narayana Hrudayalaya and a boy from Kakka Bevinahalli village near Bellary has been asked to come for surgery after two months,” district health officer Tarsalappa said. “We have been instilling confidence in the parents that their children would lead a normal life after the treatment. Most of the parents have agreed, while a few are still hesitating,” he added.

“Before undergoing surgery my grand-daughter would faint frequently, but now that seems to have become a thing of the past,” Mr. Shivalingappa said.

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