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February 2010
How to Save A Child's Heart
February 14th is World Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day
 
Here is a medically supervised programme to help heart patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical, mental and social functioning - the first in a two part series

Over 2,00,000 children are born in our country with heart diseases every year. If numbers could talk, if those zeroes had a voice, muffled sobs could burst your ears. Because less than five percent of these children get optimal care on time - making most of them succumb to congenital heart disease without celebrating even their first birthday.

We will never know most of their names. Surgeries generally cost upwards of a lakh of rupees, which make most of them never get admitted in a hospital – though these parents love their children no less. We will never know if one girl would have loved the tangy taste of panipuris, or if a boy would have preferred to play football instead of cricket. Reducing people to numbers is sometimes helpful. It shuts out those deafening sobs.

SACH
Most of these children, if they had received treatment on time, could have grown up to become normal adults. The good news is that such cases are easily treatable if brought in at the right time - but the bad news is that not many people are aware of that.

Save A Child's Heart (SACH) is perhaps the largest charitable organisation in India providing paediatric cardiac care to children in the lower socio-economic groups. In Andhra Pradesh, the cost of such a surgery (around Rs. One lakh) is borne by SACH, Apollo Hospitals and the AP government. In other states, SACH and Apollo Hospitals help foot the bill as local governments are yet to commit on contributing.

The approach to Save A Child's Heart is five pronged: prevention, detection, treatment, funding and follow up care. Screening camps with state-of-the-art equipment are organised across the nation and the cases identified are then transported to Apollo for treatment. Founded by the Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Dr. Prathap C. Reddy in 2003, SACH has touched the lives of over 50,000 children so far.

You Can Save A Child's Heart Too
Donate online:
Visit www.sach. co.in. All donations are exempt from income tax under section 80G.
Sponsor a Child: SACH has many children awaiting treatment. You can support the treatment cost of one child or more, either partially or fully. You can also follow up on the treatment personally, or ask SACH to keep you intimated on the child's progress. You can be assured that you will receive much more than you can ever give.
Volunteer: Have workable ideas for camps, counselling or events that can touch lives? SACH would welcome you with open arms.
Join: SACH invites medical social workers, trained nutritionists, individuals and organisations to join their efforts.

To know more, write to editor.bpositiveindia@gmail.com

    
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