The Paris-based international charity organization, The Heart Fund, has collaborated with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi to provide free life-saving open-heart surgeries and endovascular treatments for the poor in India. So far, 20 children have benefited from this program. “AIMS is the first and only medical facility in India to have been selected for this mission for its proven track-record in cardiovascular procedures,” said Dr. David Luu, President of The Heart Fund and New York-based heart surgeon.
"The Heart Fund will provide sustainable and long-term assistance to AIMS for free heart surgery for children, educational and scientific exchanges to help create global awareness on cardio-vascular diseases in India and assistance to upgrade technical facilities to develop a heart transplant program such as Heart and Lung Machine or Ventricular Assistance Device,” Dr. Luu further explained.
“The Heart Fund contributed to the surgical costs and endovascular procedures for 20 patients,” said Dr. Krishna Kumar, Head, Department of Paediatric Cardiology, AIMS.
“Approximately one in every 120 children is born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). This translates into approximately 250,000 children being born with congenital heart defects each year in India. Congenital heart defects include a number of conditions. There are hundreds of types and making a precise diagnosis is sometimes quite challenging. Approximately 80,000 newborns with congenital heart disease would require intervention during the neonatal period or infancy each year. Between 3-10% of the present infant mortality may be accounted for congenital heart disease. Between 1-8 of every 1000 school going children have rheumatic heart disease in certain parts of the country,” he added.
Care of children with heart problems is challenging. A high level of skill, commitment and coordination is necessary among the team of health care professionals who specialize in this endeavor. The team members include pediatric cardiologists, pediatric heart surgeons, anesthesiologists and intensive care experts and specialized nurses. Advanced hospital infrastructure, quality equipment and efficient and robust systems are needed to support their efforts. Pediatric cardiology will recieve a big boost at AIMS due to the partnership with The Heart Fund.
American actor Gary Dourdan, known for portraying Warrick Brown in the television series CSI, and international supermodel Alina Baikova are the brand ambassadors to raise awareness on cardiovascular diseases and fund to finance children’s surgeries.