By Naseel Voici
CALICUT- Demonstrating that care, concern and compassion knows no border, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) a pioneer institute in the state of Kerala renowned for its excellent medical expertise, provided world class cardiac care to an eight year old boy, Master Sohail from Afghanistan who had life threatening heart defect. This effort is a result of Dr. Moopen’s Foundation, the not-for-profit arm of Aster DM Healthcare’s initiative – ‘Healing Touch” aimed to provide free cardiac surgeries for 25 children from Afghanistan for a period of one year.
Master Sohail is the first pediatric cardiac patient who under the able expertise of Dr. Benedict & Dr. Sajan Koshy, Chief Pediatric Cardiac Surgeons, MIMS along with specialists at Aster Medcity, Kochi, experienced exceptional treatment and underwent successful Mitral Valve Repair, a complex and rare surgery done in Kerala.
Eight year old, Master Sohail Ahamed is the third among the six children of Mr. Shamsurahman from Chapparhar Village, Nangarhar in Afghanistan. His father works as a carpenter in Jalalabad and Kabul. Since Sohail was very skinny since the age of 2, Mr. Shamsurahman took him to a nearby hospital where the doctor diagnosed him with a heart ailment. Sohail was then taken to a hospital in Pakistan for an Echo and it was found that one of heart valves had a hole and the other was weak. The doctors informed that the surgery would cost around 4.5 Lakhs in the local currency and since Mr. Shamsurahman could not afford that much money, they returned to Afghanistan. Later on Sohail was taken to another government hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan who offered to do the surgery for 2.5 Lakhs. Once again due to deficiency of money, Sohail couldn’t be operated and continued to be on medications.
Finally, Mr. Shamsurahman was asked to attend the screening camp conducted by Dr. Moopen’s Foundation in which expert pediatric cardiac surgeons from MIMS Calicut and Aster Medcity, Kochi travelled to Afghanistan to screen cardiac patients from financially backward families under the Healing Touch initiative. Sohail was one among the 25 children selected to undergo surgery in this camp.
Sohail was admitted at MIMS on 19th April and Dr. Benedict Raj and his team successfully conducted the surgery on April 21st and discharged him on 2nd May 2014.
Speaking on the child’s treatment, Dr. Benedict, Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, MIMS said, “The Mitral valve repair that was performed on Master Sohail was successful by the Grace of God. Normally we replace the valve of such patients and going forward they will be on constant medications and blood tests. They would also need to avoid sports and any opportunity for injury. This is not ideal for growing children. It was surprising and heart whelming to see Master Sohail, recovering very quickly at a steady phase. The biggest advantage would be that he will not be required to take medicines after 3 months of recovery. It should also be highlighted that, these complex operations are only done in the few of the best centres in the country and MIMS is one of them.”
The Heart Center at MIMS Calicut combines global standard medical expertise in cardiac procedures with cutting-edge technology. The Centre is a state-of-the-art tertiary care center with advanced facilities to provide management of comprehensive adult and pediatric cardiac surgery and care under one roof. The experts of the doctors at Aster Medcity, Kochi will also extend medical examination and treatments.
Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Shamsurahman said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Moopen’s foundation and all the doctors for extending a helping hand to my suffering son and giving him a new lease of life. I am happy to see Sohail lead a normal life and free from his medical disorder. This initiative is a ray of hope for many underprivileged heart patients in our country,” he added.
In an event in December 2013, Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director- Aster DM Healthcare extended the ‘Healing Touch’ initiative to H.E. Hamid Karzai, Honourable President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under Dr. Moopen’s Foundation committed at 25 free cardiac surgeries for Afghan children over a period of one year. The Foundation is involved in various philanthropic activities across India, Philippines, the Gulf countries and the African continent.
Commenting on the successful treatment of the first pediatric cardiac patient, Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare said “We are happy to see the first pediatric cardiac patient from Afghanistan, Master Sohail recovering from his medical condition. The foundation is committed at improving health and well-being of people and believe that quality healthcare has no boundaries. Here at MIMS, we will ensure to provide exceptional world class treatment to all the patients and hope to create a healthier community”
A DM Foundation delegation consisting of Senior Consultant doctors and officials visited Kabul in the month of January 2014 to initiate the screening process and identify the beneficiaries of the ‘Healing Touch’ initiative in Afghanistan. Dr. Hashmatulla Nawabi, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Ministry of Health – Afghanistan, Dr. Asmatulla Naebkhil- Director & Vice President of Kabul Medical University & Heart Institute and Mr. Mansoor Ahmadi (Business Man) who sponsored logistics and HE Atiqullah Atifmall, the Consul General of Republic of Afghanistan extended support to this initiative and ensured smooth functioning of the initiative.
All the patients diagnosed will be treated under the professional expertise of Doctors of MIMS, Calicut and Aster Medcity, Kochi.