Children with congenital heart disease operated upon for free

A new lease: Khushi Birani with her parents at SL Raheja Hospital in Mahim.

A new lease: Khushi Birani with her parents at SL Raheja Hospital in Mahim.  

Fortis, Raheja hospitals conduct 130 surgeries in a week

After nearly a decade of waiting for treatment for congenital heart disease due to the lack of funds, two young girls underwent free surgeries recently at SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim. The girls were among 130 children who underwent similar surgeries here as well as at Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

The two hospitals conducted the surgeries for congenital heart disease in seven days, free of cost under the Nabadat project, a global humanitarian initiative of the Dubai Health Authority and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment.

Shambhavi Kavde (15), a resident of Gadchiroli, and Khushi Birani (10) from Nandurbar travelled to Mumbai for the surgery.

Under the Nabadat (Arabic for heartbeat) project, started in 2007, several free congenital heart disease surgeries have been carried out in Dubai and neighbouring countries such as Sudan, which have the medical facilities but lack the funding to provide treatment.

Shankar Kavde, Shambhavi’s father, works as a taxi driver in his hometown, and did the rounds of various hospitals for his daughter over the past 12 years, to no avail. “We were told when she was born that she has the disease, but she was too weak to undergo any surgery,” he said. “When she turned three, her symptoms became worrisome as she would fall sick frequently. So we began trying to find the right treatment. Our daughter also has Down Syndrome, so her being sick was quite difficult. We were told about this project at Nair Hospital and brought her here.”

Shambhavi is the oldest patient treated at the camp so far, said Dr. Bipin Chevale, zonal director, SL Raheja Hospital. Her surgery was conducted on July 7.

Khushi, on the other hand, lived with the disease till the age of 10 and underwent surgery on July 7. Harish Birani, her father, said, “We learnt about the camp at my daughter’s school. It was an opportunity we had to take, so we are here. Working as a farmer, I haven’t been able to get this illness taken care of, but now everything will be all right.”

Dr. Chevale said the disease is normally detected at birth, and few children live with it for too long. “We have admitted very few cases from Mumbai. The majority of our patients come from districts such as Gadchiroli and Nanded, since it is in these areas that treatment is unavailable. In normal circumstances, we undertake 45 cases in a month, but have now met that target in half a week,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 8:01:52 PM |

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