Muhirwe Shammah is a nine-month-old baby girl from Burundi, Africa. She has big, bright eyes and is adorable. She seems to be perfectly healthy on the outside. But she isn’t. Muhirwe suffers from a large VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) – a type of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). This means that she has trouble feeding, and could also be prone to slow growth, and heart failure due to an overworked heart. The only solution to a long and healthy life for her is surgery. And it’s not just little Muhirwe who needs medical attention.
Nearly 200,000 children born every year in Africa suffer from CHD, with over 1 million seeking immediate medical attention. Only six hospitals located in South Africa and Egypt are equipped to treat them. This makes it nearly improbable for patients in far-off regions such as Burundi and Kenya to receive timely medical aid, often leading to fatal consequences.
CHD is the main factor responsible for infant mortality in India which affects 1 in every 100 babies. Aishwarya Trust is an NGO consisting a team of passionate, dedicated doctors and professionals who provide free medical aid for underprivileged children suffering from CHD. In 2011, Aishwarya Trust began the ‘Save Children in Africa’ mission. With generous support and funding from various organizations, NGO’s, individuals and international agencies such as The World Bank and IFE, the trust has been able to conduct life-saving surgeries for nearly 75 children, 30 of whom are from Burundi alone. A team of prominent cardiac surgeons and cardiologists namely K.R. Balakrishnan, R. Ravi Kumar, K.G. Suresh Rao, N.K Kapadia, and Vijith Cherian, currently serve at the Fortis Malar Hospital in Chennai. They have taken the fight against CHD one step ahead and trained a team of four doctors from Burundi, in a bid to provide necessary medical aid to thousands of children in Africa.
Congenital Heart Defect is not life-threatening. However, delayed prognosis and lack of medical care could undoubtedly lead to fatal events. Aishwarya Trust has helped assist a commendable number of 331 surgeries till date. But there are many more children like Muhirwe who need immediate surgeries. A single surgery costs INR 150,000. Your generous contribution could make a world of difference.
Would you like to join the cause in saving their lives?
PS: Cheques may be drawn in favour of Aishwarya Trust. Donations made are subject to 80G tax exemption.