Amrita Hospital, Kochi, conducted a free screening camp for children with heart diseases in Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu. Specialists provided diagnostic evaluations for approximately 270 children, with a specific focus on addressing congenital heart defects. Around 130 of them will receive free treatment including 45 surgeries at the hospital in Kochi.
The camp was conducted on December 3rd at Amrita Vidyalayam, Amma’s Senior Secondary School in Ramanathapuram. Dr. R. Krishnakumar, Head of the Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Amrita Hospital, led the initiative in collaboration with the Genesis Foundation and HDFC Ergo. Brahmacharini Lakshmi, the administrator of Amrita Vidyalayams in Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram, also played a key role.
Regular camps are scheduled for the area, as it is a region where the people face great economic challenges. According to Tamil Nadu’s State Planning Commission, 31.27% of families in Ramanathapuram live below the poverty line as of 2013-14. In addition, the 2011 Census of India reported that 18.4% of the district’s 1.35 million people are Scheduled Caste.
“Amrita Hospital, Kochi, is committed to identifying children in need of heart surgery or catheter procedures and providing them with free care, including surgery. This philanthropic effort is made possible through the generous support of the Genesis Foundation and Amrita Heart Care Foundation,” said Dr. Krishnakumar.
The camp addressed the issue of congenital heart defects affecting over 2,50,000 children born annually in India, necessitating intervention for 25% within their first year. Barriers such as limited resources, low awareness, and financial constraints deprive many children of timely medical care, impacting their chances of leading normal lives.
The event was inaugurated by Brahmachari Nikhilesamrita Chaitanya of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Tamil Nadu. Thiru. Ramakrishnan, Principal, Amrita Vidyalayam, Ramanathapuram welcomed the gathering and Thiru. Balavel Murugan, Vice-Principal of the school delivered the Vote of Thanks.
Additional districts within Tamil Nadu are also part of Amrita Hospital’s broader initiative to offer essential medical care to those in need. This initiative marks an expansion of outreach programs in the state as part of the hospital’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations.
Amrita Hospital’s Paediatric Heart Program has performed approximately 32,500 paediatric cardiac operations and catheter interventions. The hospital has extended free or subsidised care to 24,300 children so far.