A Mission to save little Hearts…
Jaypee Hospital India treats Tanzanian Kids for Open Heart Surgery
Mulhat Humud just 5 Months old, is the youngest of 15 children from Tanzania who are currently undergoing treatment at the swanky new super-specialty Jaypee Hospital located in New Delhi. Following her successful open heart surgery in India, doctor says Humud’s chest is healing well. She will be able to return to Tanzania in next two days. This successful pediatric open-heart surgery in India was performed by Dr. Rajesh Sharma, Director, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, CTVS and Dr. Ashutosh Marwah, Associate Director, Paediatric Cardiology, Jaypee Hospital India.
According to Ms. Hidaya Ally Mozy, who is escorting this group of little cardiac patients from Tanzania, Said, “Ms. Mulhut was found to have a heart defect during a routine medical checkup in Tanzania. She is now recovering at Jaypee Hospital alongside other children from Tanzania, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the bed next to her in the pediatric ward is little Elizabeth Charies, a 10 months old baby girl from Tanzania, who had PDA surgery in India last week.” “Elizabeth arrived in a very critical condition and the doctors needed a few days to stabilize her condition before operating. She is now recovering and her mother, who doesn’t leave her bedside, is finally smiling.” Ms. Mozy Said.
“Dr. Marwah has given a new lease of life to children with congenital heart defects in developing countries like Tanzania. We are very grateful to him and Jaypee Hospital.”
According to Dr. Marwah, “The Department of Cardiology at Jaypee Hospital now is undertaking regular major open heart surgeries for patients from abroad. He said, “In collaboration with Lions Club of Dar-es-Salaam, we had conducted a two day screening camp to identify kids with cardiac problems.”
“We screened around 150 children in a camp, Where 45 children were in urgent need of treatment. We have done around 10 open heart surgeries in last two weeks,” he said.
Jaypee Hospital has at its Heart Institute offers four Cath Labs including one Hybrid OT (Cath Lab and OT together) and region’s first Bi-plane Cath Lab. The Heart Institute is equipped with 200 beds including 60 beds for ICCU, 6 OTs, and four dedicated ambulances. It has dedicated pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgical unit for management of congenital heart defects.
Dr. Khuzema S. Khanbhai, Consultant Physician, Regency Medical Center, Tanzania said,“Astounding statistics reveal that 1 out of 200 children in Tanzania, is born with congenital heart defects. With the lack of paediatric cardiac surgery facilities in Tanzania, these children need to be flown overseas for Open Heart surgery.”
“The Tanzania government, which sends most of its patients who need heart surgery overseas to countries like India, can only afford to care for about 100 people a year,” said Dr. Khuzema, is coordinating these surgeries with Indian Doctors.
Each year one million babies are born with congenital heart defects. Ten percent of them do not live to see their first birthday due to lack of treatment, most of them in poor and developing countries. Every year in Tanzania, more than 7,000 children with congenital heart diseases and adolescents with rheumatic valvular heart diseases await open heart surgery treatment. They needlessly succumb to a premature and painful death due to unavailability of local paediatric cardiac surgery.
Six years old Ms. Mariam from Pakistan will be operated in next week. Her father Mr. Mohammed Tariq says, “This kind of surgery was not possible in Pakistan, so our doctor suggested us to go to India. He called to Indian doctors and arranged this surgery of our only daughter Mariam.” While Baby Boy Wajjidullah from Afghanistan is very happy in his uncle’s lap after PDA surgery. His uncle Shams Safi said, “We are very satisfied with treatment and doctor’s response at Jaypee Hospital.”
“One of these operations in the United States can cost ten times more,” Dr. Khuzema said. While 40 percent of the kids come from Africa, Jaypee Hospital has treated children from different countries, including Pakistan, Afganistan and Iraq.
Dr. Khuzema praised the effort. “We are honestly very pleased with Jaypee hospital’s response. The life-saving surgeries breaks down barriers between people from many different backgrounds working together to save a child.”
Medical tourism India has given a new lease of life to such patients who previously would have died, unfortunately, due to lack of medical care available. But due to the recent expansion of medical tourism in other parts of Africa including Tanzania patients can now dream of getting affordable treatment in India. Although a lot of work needs to be done for improving the healthcare system in Africa, medical tourism has been a start in the right direction. The exchange of information which has been initiated due to medical tourism India will play an important role in the coming years.
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