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Interview with Dr. K. Hariprasad of SACH foundation

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SACH (Save a Child’s Heart) is foundation which addresses all aspects of pediatric cardiac care from prevention to follow up care. Our correspondent Spurty got a chance to interact with Dr. K. Hariprasad of SACH during a telephonic interview. Here are some excerpts of the interview –

Spurty – What is SACH all about? Could you please tell us more about this foundation?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) helps children with heart diseases. Our mission is to provide quality treatment and financial access to children belonging to lower socio-economic groups. This foundation was established in 2003.

Save A Child’s Heart is the largest charitable organization in India providing pediatric cardiac care to children suffering from heart diseases. This is a need-based initiative, which covers all aspects of a major socio-economic problem in India (i.e.) prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, follow up care and funding for lower socio-economic groups. We are recognized for our commitment to quality medical care and accountability, our work has taken us close to people’s hearts. SACH is helping children facing Congenital Heart Problems with Apollo Children’s Heart Hospitals in India.

Spurty - What or who is your inspiration behind setting up this foundation?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Padma Vibhushan Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals is the inspiration of our endeavour.

Spurty - What are the general cases you deal with? Can you elaborate on the common heart ailments prevalent among children? Could you also tell us about some rare cases?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Children generally are treated for CHDs(Congenital Heart Diseases at SACH. These CHDs alone can be accounted for 10% of infant mortality rate.

In India, approximately 1-1.5 lack children are born with some form of heart defect every year. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Tetraology of Fallot (TOF), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Coarctation of the Aerta (COA), Truncus (TRU), Pulmonary Stenosis (PS), Aortic Stenosis (AS), Atrio Ventricular Septal Defect (AVSD), Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) are some of the common pediatric cardiac problems.

We have the distinction of being the first ones in performing some of the most difficult and complicated cases in our country. Many complicated cases involving premature babies and infants are referred here. Some surgery techniques like Permembranous VSD Device Closure, uni-focalization in children with VSD pulmonary atresia, single stage correction, and Arterial switch operation in children with TGA – transposition of great arteries and Valvoplasties in newborn are done at SACH.

Spurty - We know that you rectify children’s heart ailments. By ‘children’ which age group are you referring to?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - By children we mean children aged below 12. Apart from children, any patient who walks into the hospital for screening is offered free / subsidized services based on the paying capacity.

Spurty - How many cases have you so far attended?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - SACH has thus far given rebirth of sorts to some 50,000 children.

Spurty - What were your recent programs? Give us an insight into it.

Dr. K. Hariprasad — We have organized ‘Dil Se’, a fund raising campaign in association with Deccan Chronicle, AAPI(Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin) and Apollo Hospitals which can be rated as one of the best campaigns. This has received a huge and warm response from the people. This has also spread awareness regarding pediatric cardiac diseases. First Telugu Animation Movie “Kittu” for SACH was filmed at Prasads Imax. Also many film stars lent their unconditional support to this foundation. Charity Dinners were organized. We have also organized a Heart 2 Heart carnival.

Spurty - Are free camps conducted?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Yes. SACH identifies children with heart diseases mainly through free screening camps. Afterevaluation the children are referred by the hospital for further treatment to SACH.

Spurty - Could you share with us your success stories?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Gaythri was the very first case treated by Save a Child’s Heart foundation, but continues to be our inspiration even today. When she was brought to us, she was all blue and de-oxygenated. It was very hard for her to even breathe. But, today she is already 2 years old and continues to amaze us all with her innocence and charm.

Spurty - What are your operational tie-ups?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - The organizations that have been supporting this cause have been rechristened as ‘SACH Angels’ by us. Some of them are the LSN Foundation, Deccan Chronicle(news paper), Agrotech Foods. We have also tied up with Disney & Sony Pictures. Hyderabad Central, Prasads IMAX, HUDA(Hyderabad Urban Development Authority), Radio Mirchi, HSBC Global Resourcing have been very proactive with this cause for children. We have received some unparalleled support and hope to receive much more in the future to come.

Spurty - Are there any doctors who work voluntarily?

Dr. K. Hariprasad - Oh Yes! We have a team of well-trained & highly qualified doctors with immense experience. They have all volunteered their services for SACH. Some of the notable names are Dr. Girish Warrier – Consultant Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Meena Trehan — Consultant Pediatric Anesthesiologist, Dr. Anil S.R – Sr. Consultant Pediatric Cardiologist.

Spurty — Would you like to tell our readers anything?

Dr. K. Hariprasad – All I have got to say is ‘Have a heart, save a child’s heart. Let the gift of love be the gift of life from now on.’

Spurty – Thank you so much doctor for sharing with us the details of your organization.

Dr. K. Hariprasad – It was a pleasure.

If you wish to donate and bring a ‘change’ in a child’s life, please visit www.sach.co.in

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