Gift of life for kids

A TOTAL of nine surgeries have been completed at CWM Hospital by the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital medical team from Raipur, India since Sunday.

Head surgeon Dr Asish Katewa said since the team’s arrival into the country last week, they aimed to ensure that three surgeries were done every day.

Dr Katewa said about 80 Fijian children were screened, however, 35 were short-listed for surgeries.

“This is our third trip to Fiji and we offer the service free of charge because there is no other way that these families can afford the surgeries,” Dr Katewa said. “These children need treatment so it needs to be fixed.”

He added similar problems in Fiji were faced by individuals in India.

“Many of our families are extremely poor and the source of income is not even that much,” he added.

He said the youngest patient that was so far operated on was a two-month- old baby weighing 2.9kg.

He is urging future medical specialists to improve the medical system in the country.

“Don’t leave Fiji for greener pastures,” he said.

“Try to make Fiji as good as Australia and New Zealand to help those who cannot afford to have treatment overseas.”

Meanwhile, Sai Prema Foundation director Sumeet Tappoo said they were honoured to be doing this project to help the needy and poor children.

“The foundation is formed to serve the needy and poor children of Fiji and that our philosophy is whatever service we provide is completely free of cost,” he said.

“These families are saving about $100,000 and it is amazing that these nurses and doctors can come to Fiji.”

The team will depart the country this Saturday.

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