Chennai

Crowdfunding helps 100 patients in city

34,000 contribute ₹5 cr. to fund surgeries, including liver transplants for children

In 15 months, over ₹5 crore was raised through a crowdfunding platform to support the treatment of nearly 100 patients at a city hospital. A total of 34,000 donors contributed ₹5 crore to fund surgeries, including liver transplants for children.

On Thursday, the Rela Institute and Medical Centre (RIMC) and Milaap, the crowdfunding platform, presented two patients — a three-month baby who was diagnosed with a rare genetic liver disorder (Prothrombotic disorder) and an eight-year-old girl who was diagnosed with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis.

Both underwent liver transplants at RIMC; fundraisers on Milaap fetched ₹30 lakh in a day for the baby and ₹16 lakh for the girl.

Affordability has always been a question in case of liver transplants, Mohamed Rela, chairman and managing director of RIMC, said.

“In India, affordability has improved. The Tamil Nadu government provides funds for liver and bone marrow transplants, but there is no chance for it to reach everyone, as there are eligibility norms. Through a platform like Milaap, ₹5 crore was raised in 15 months, and this has benefited 100 of our paediatric and adult patients to get high-end treatment,” he told reporters. People who donated the funds have made this possible, he added.

Anoj Viswanathan, president and co-founder of Milaap, said the initiative was started 10 years ago, and had raised ₹400 crore towards medical needs of people. “We have 20 lakh donors in and outside India. Thirty percent of them have contributed more than once. Most users are from middle and lower-middle class families, who do not fit into any schemes. People use the platform when they run out of options such as insurance cover and savings,” he said.

He added that patients turned to crowdfunding for cancers, specifically blood cancers, liver transplants, paediatric and newborn intensive care, accident and trauma. He said that they were working on providing tax exemptions for donors.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:45:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/crowdfunding-helps-100-patients-in-city/article30814664.ece

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