Health

Medical team from India to provide free heart surgeries for children

A team of medical specialists from India will be in the country to provide free surgeries to approximately forty Fijian children with congenital heart disease. The ten member team comprising of doctors, nurses and cardiac specialists will be at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital from August 8th to the 18th. The Sai Prema Foundation (Fiji) in […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 31, 2016 8:38 am

A team of medical specialists from India will be in the country to provide free surgeries to approximately forty Fijian children with congenital heart disease.

CWM Hospital medical staff with Dr Krupali Tappoo, the coordinator for the cardiac visit from Sai Prema Foundation(Fiji) and Dr Ashish Katewa. (DEPTFO)
CWM Hospital medical staff with Dr Krupali Tappoo, the coordinator for the cardiac visit from Sai Prema Foundation(Fiji) and Dr Ashish Katewa. (DEPTFO)

The ten member team comprising of doctors, nurses and cardiac specialists will be at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital from August 8th to the 18th.

The Sai Prema Foundation (Fiji) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is facilitating the medical team from the Sri Satya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital (SSSSH) in Raipur, India to perform the surgeries.

This initiative of the Sai Prema Foundation (Fiji) is to help the poor and the needy children of Fiji in addition to performing free medical camps in rural and remote villages.

The paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon from Sanjeevani Hospital, Dr Ashish Katewa during an earlier scouting visit to Fiji met with the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Veena Bhatnagar and local health staff and held discussions on a possible visiting medical team to help Fijian children.

Such surgeries cost approximately $55,000 per patient but will be provided free and many of the diagnosed children have been on the waiting list for quite some time.

The local coordinator for the Sai Prema Foundation (Fiji) Dr Krupali Tappoo, a general practitioner at Mitchells Clinic in Suva, has been working closely with Dr Ashish Katewa and the head of paediatrics at the CWM Hospital Dr Ilisapeci Vereti, to ensure that all preparations are completed before surgeries in August.

Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Service Veena Bhatnagar with Dr Ashish Katewa. (DEPTFO)
Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Service Veena Bhatnagar with Dr Ashish Katewa. (DEPTFO)

All expenses for the families of patients, such as travelling costs and meals will be met by the Children’s Heart Foundation headed by Dr Rosemary Mitchell.

The Sanjeevani Hospital will provide all the consumables for the surgeries worth thousands of dollars as most of the specialised equipment is not available in Fiji, including coverage of all travel expenses for the visiting team.

In addition to free surgeries, the paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon from Sanjeevani Hospital Dr Ashish Katewa said  that they will also train local doctors and nurses.

KATEWA: “We will train local counterparts in India and bear all costs with the hope that Fiji can establish its own paediatric cardiac surgical unit in future.”

Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate thanked Sanjeevani Hospital for the free service.

USAMATE: “I thank you for availing such services which will benefit the children of Fiji with this type of medical condition and will give them a new lease of life.”

The team also hopes to visit annually to perform these services until Fiji convenes its own paediatric cardiac surgery unit.

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