ANDHRA PRADESH

Global Hospitals' offer to kids with liver complaints

Hyderabad Nov. 13. The Hyderabad-based Global Hospitals is offering liver transplant to children from living relatives, free of hospital charges and doctor fee to mark the Children's Day. Patients would only have to pay for medicines and consumables. This would reduce the cost of a liver transplant from about Rs. 12 to 15 lakhs to the range of Rs. 5 to 7 lakhs. The hospital is also in the process of setting up a charitable trust to collect donations to subsidise medicines too.

The facility is being made available to children from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and West Asia. The surgeries would be conducted by doctors from London's King's College Hospital led by Mohammed Rela, who has the distinction of conducting over 750 liver transplant operations, including 300 on children. The King's College team has successfully conducted over 2,500 liver transplants in the last decade.

Announcing this offer to the press here on Thursday, Dr. Rela and K. Ravindranath, Chairman and Managing Director, Global Hospitals, said that South Asia had about 4,000 children suffering from terminal liver failure but high costs, lack of medical infrastructure and personnel, as well as low public awareness had put liver transplant out of the reach of most people.

Liver donations would be accepted only from first degree living relatives like parents or uncles and aunts. Children suffering from biliary tract mal-development, metabolic disorders and fulminant failure are the main candidates for liver transplantation.

Survival rates of children undergoing this surgery are in the range of 85 to 97 per cent, Dr. Rela said.

Dr. Ravindranath said they had already received enquiries from different parts of the country as well as from neighbouring countries. Most parents were finding the costs prohibitive and therefore Global Hospitals had decided to forgo their charges, as had the doctors of Kings College Hospital.

Further details can be had from phone number +91-9849018186 or through email drpatnaik@globalhospital.net