Gift of Life
Free Heart Surgeries for the Children of Fiji
The Gift of Life Heart Surgeries is a project of Sai Prema Foundation Fiji, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Charitable Foundation formed to serve the underprivileged and needy people of Fiji through Medicare, Educare and Sociocare initiatives.
The Sai Prema Foundation Fiji undertook this initiative in association with the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services in collaboration with an international team of surgeons, doctors and medical professionals from India, Australia, USA and Oman representing the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals in India.
The Sai Prema Foundation Fiji facilitated a 13-member team from the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Raipur (a Paediatric Cardiac Super Speciality Hospital) in conjunction with Ministry of Health and Medical Services Fiji from April 29, 2019 to May 10, 2019. The aim was to perform free paediatric congenital cardiac surgeries.
The team arrived on the April 21, 2019 and conducted screenings from April 23 onward. A total of 84 children were screened.
17 paediatric cardiac surgeries, worth in excess of FJD$1million, were performed totally free of cost. Needless to say, without intervention and treatment, these children may not have survived.
There have been a few teams coming to Fiji over the past 20 years to perform paediatric cardiac surgeries, however this team was the first team ever to involve the local doctors and nurses during the whole process. Their plan is not only to come to Fiji and perform free paediatric cardiac surgeries, but also to help Fiji establish its first Paediatric Cardiothoracic Unit. The team has been coming on an annual basis since 2016.
The Sai Prema Foundation Fiji provided airfare, transport, accommodation, meals and hosted the team while they were in Fiji. They also gave out a ‘Gift of Life’ pack to every child that was operated on. The pack included a photo of the child with the doctors, toys, books, stationaries, and a ‘Gift of Life’ Certificate.
The Sai Prema Foundation Fiji will continue with these visits annually in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in Raipur India.