Free heart surgery

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: The Rotary Club of Coimbatore Saicity is mobilising funds under its Gift of Life project to perform free surgery for children up to 12 years of age who have congenital heart problems.

The club recently held a dance and music programme to raise funds for the surgeries. The club has said that the project was being implemented in partnership with the Gift of Life Foundation and clubs in the Rotary District 7250 in the U.S.

The club said that so far, 426 surgeries had been performed, but might not be able to touch 500 in the next two months, a target it wanted to achieve by the close of the Rotary year (from July 1 to June 30). It, however, hoped to facilitate 100 surgeries during the current year. At the start of the year, the total number of cases done was 366.

Under the programme, the club identified children from families with very low income and referred them to three to four private hospitals in the city where surgeries were done to correct congenital problems such as atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect and transposition of great arteries.

The club said that at any point of time, 20 to 25 children were being waitlisted for the surgeries.

The scheme began here in 2002 with the aim of funding 50 per cent of the surgery cost. The rest was to be met by the family of the children. In cases where there was no income source at all for the family, the club examined the possibility of full funding.

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