'Born in one country, given life in another'


By Sidrah Roghay
Karachi

Dr Sanjay Bose sits at a clinic at the Tabba hospital and examines patients, mostly children who come in with various heart ailments. He puts a stethoscope on their chest, hears their heartbeat, goes through medical reports and asks them, "Do you have a passport?
Will you come to India for your surgery?"
Most are taken by surprise. They smile shyly and look up to their parents for an answer. The Aman ki Asha and Rotary Club have a vision to send 200 patients to India this year for free-of-cost heart-related surgeries.
India is believed to be ahead of Pakistan when it comes to heart surgeries for children. "We do not have many Pakistani cardiologists who can perform surgeries on children, which is much more complicated than performing it on adults," explains Fahad Anwer Chishti, Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the Tabba Heart Institute.
Dr Bose is a leading cardiologist in India, and has been running a hospital in a small city in West Bengal. "Pakistan has several congenital heart diseases because of cousin marriages," he says.
He explains that a parent should become alert if a playful child is not able to run around like a normal kid. "Then there are cases of blue babies. These children are born with a tinge of blue because the heart cannot separate the good and bad blood."
He appreciates the Aman ki Asha initiative because "it brings forward a positive message, and perceptions change when the message reaches home"."We share common problems and the region should get together to solve these issues," he maintains.
Director Rotary International India Shekhar Mehta is part of the team here from India. "Before partition at least we knew each other. The present generation does not. We need to have people-to-people contact to undermine this perceived animosity."
He shares an example: "One of the patients who got his surgery done in India told me, 'I was born in one country, but given life in another'."

Saturday, March 17, 2012




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