MUMBAI: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar today during the opening of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai announced sponsoring 34 lifesaving heart surgeries. These paediatric heart surgeries are for children from economically and socially challenged sections of society and will be done over the next few months.
The state-of-the-art centre is the first such centre in the west zone and will provide free of cost services, based on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s model of quality healthcare. The first paediatric cardiac surgery is scheduled for later this month.
The centre will treat children with congenital heart disease who are awaiting surgical intervention. It will also support and train grassroots healthcare workers and Anganwadi sevikas in basic pediatric cardiac detection and treatment, to help strengthen primary maternal and infant health services in the region.
Each year, approximately 240,000 children are born in India with congenital heart disease. Of these, approximately 40% die before their third birthday. Since expensive and sophisticated paediatric care is beyond the reach of most citizens, Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals chain in Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Palwal (Haryana) is India’s largest provider of totally free paediatric heart care with over 8,600 surgeries and catheter interventions completed and over 71,000 children treated as outpatients.
Speaking at the inauguration of the centre, Mr C Sreenivas, Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, which runs the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals and Centres for Child Heart Care, said: “The centres are testimony to the work and message of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and his model of Quality Healthcare, providing totally free-of-cost services, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, nationality and gender.”
Speaking to the attendees, Sunil Gavaskar said, “These tiny tots are waiting for their hearts to be healed. Paediatric cardiac treatment should be within the reach of every child and every parent irrespective of financial or social status. I am pleased that Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre is now open in Mumbai and will provide precious life-saving service to the people.”