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Sunil Gavaskar sponsors 34 lifesaving heart surgeries for children from underprivileged backgrounds

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The announcement happened at the inauguration ceremony of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care, Navi Mumbai

Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar announced that he will sponsor 34 heart surgeries during the opening of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani International Centre for Child Heart Care in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. 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 centre will treat children with congenital heart disease who are awaiting surgical intervention free of cost. 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. Proper paediatric care in these situations is highly expensive, out of reach for the majority of such children.

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.”

A new cardiac medical device-cum-service was also launched by HD Medical, a USA based firm. The device, called HD Steth, is an ECG integrated intelligent stethoscope invented by Arvind Thiagarajan, the founder of HD Medical Inc. HD Medical is currently training hospital staff and volunteers for outreach camps in small villages, public health centres and tribal areas to use the HD Steth. This device is a smart stethoscope which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to diagnose unidentified children with heart problems through a wirelessly connected app on a tablet or a smartphone. Vivek Gaur, Managing Trustee for Heart to Heart Foundation, said, “Paediatric cardiac treatment should be within reach of every child irrespective of the financial or educational status of their parents, gender, caste, religion or social and economic background.”

Talking about these developments, Thiagarajan said, “We, at HD Medical, are committed to this selfless cause, and with our global technology, we will always aspire to train and help in diagnosis for this noble cause of saving lives. We are sure that our easy to use, instant diagnostic technique, which uses AI, will help detect Congenital Heart Disease” (CHD) at a very early stage and children can then be operated before complications sets in.”

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