250 Free Heart Procedures & Surgeries project.

Best Cooperative Projects Award
– Rtn. O.P. Khanna

Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar took up the ambitious project of providing 250 Free heart surgeries/ Procedures this year.

Prelude:

Asian Indians around the globe have the highest rate of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) despite the fact that nearly half of them are lifelong vegetarians.
India is now in the middle of a CAD epidemic with over 10% of urban Indians having CAD. During the past 3 decades, the average age of a first heart attack increased by 10 years in the U.S, but decreased by 10 years in India.

CAD is highly predictable, preventable and treatable. Over the past 30 years, CAD rates in most developed countries declined by 50%. During the same period, the CAD rates doubled in India. Indians are in double jeopardy from nature and nurture – nature having been provided by higher levels of lipoprotein (a), and nurture through an unhealthy lifestyle. Because of this genetic susceptibility, the adverse lifestyle such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are markedly magnified.

With growing awareness towards heart diseases, a number of world-standard Cardiac Hospitals like Manipal Hospital , Fortis, Narayana Hridalaya, Jayadeva etc. have come up in Bangalore.

While many of us can rejoice that most of these hospitals provide modern Cardiac facilities of internationally accepted quality and service at much cheaper rates, it is out of reach for a vast majority of the population in Karnataka & the rest of the country. This is because a majority of the people are poor and cannot afford the cardiac Procedures.

Over 1.4 million Indians need critical heart surgery annually. Currently about 55,000 surgeries are done, largely because the rest cannot afford it. They die a slow painful death.

More than 1,50,000 children are born with congenital heart disease. Only about 5,000 manage to get treated mostly with sponsorships and government aid.

The Project :

Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar took up the ambitious project of providing 100 Free heart surgeries/ Procedures this year. Preference was given to poor and needy Children and Bread Winners and the surgeries were done free of cost to the patients. The surgeries were conducted at Manipal Heart Institute of Manipal Hospital, one of the state of the art Hospitals with world class service. This was a joint project with Needy Heart Foundation an NGO whose goal is to educate about Heart Diseases and to Provide Free or affordable Heart surgeries to the Poor and needy.

This project was significant because it provided a much needed service considering that a number of needy poor heart patients (especially from the rural areas) could not afford the cost of the surgery. The project also includes education the People about Heart diseases and their prevention. Free Heart Check up camps were organised by MHI through different Rotary Clubs in the district. Basic Life skills Training (BLS) was also given to many Institutions and Schools in and around Bangalore.

This joint project of Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar RID 3190, and Needy Heart Foundation, is not only giving a fresh lease of life to children irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion or gender, but also has given a very wide public image to the humanitarian face of Rotary. Day in day out, at the Rotary Partner hospitals one can see glowing faces of the operated children along with their parents or guardians. This program of Rotary has been covered in many local TV channels including NDTV, DD, Suvarna and print media including TOI, Deccan Herald, Indian Express, Hindu, Asian Age etc.

One of the children, who for the last three years had not even started walking due to a heart condition was seen running up and down with happiness. We could see the extreme joy in the parents, and satisfaction in the doctors who performed the surgery.

Our Club Signed an MOU with Manipal Heart Institute (MHI) where MHI accepts all heart patients sponsored by Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar at Rs 35,000 per patient. The balance will be raised by Manipal Heart Institute and Needy Heart Foundation. These heart patients include both for heart surgery or non surgical interventions such as single stents etc.

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