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Sri Sathya Sai Trust and UNICEF join hands for establishing National center for child heart care in Raipur

Raipur: UNICEF Chhattisgarh and Sri Sathya Sai Health & Education Trust signed an MoU to establish a national centre for research and training on pediatric heart care at Raipur. The partnership also aims to develop a comprehensive primary health care model for universal health coverage (UHC).

Chhattisgarh UNICEF chief said that about 2 lakh children are born with congenital heart disease (CHD) in India every year. “Many children with heart diseases, especially from the vulnerable families, do not get treatment and they die. We need to establish a national centre for research and training on child heart diseases. UNICEF strongly  believes in building models and innovations to ensure the services reach the most marginalized”.  

Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani hospital of the Trust in Raipur currently conducts over 2,500 congenital heart surgeries of children, free of cost, every year. It is one of the largest centres in the world in surgery and treatment of congenital heart diseases of children.  

Sri Sathya Sai Health & Education Trust chairman C Srinivas said that the Trust has conducted one of the highest number of pediatric cardiac surgeries in India and it aims to establish a centre of excellence for pediatric cardiac sciences with UNICEF support. “ The collaboration will also provide counselling services for adolescent girls and boys on sexual and reproductive health, prevent substance abuse, enhance mental health, and improve nutrition through specialist services” ,Mr Srinivas added.

The jointly developed model has components of newborn health, child health, adolescent health, de-addiction, and community awareness. The safe motherhood program which is part of the MoU will provide pre-conception care including testing, counselling, and preventive treatment of eligible couples to ensure a healthy mother and baby. The model will also aim to showcase life-saving child survival and development care and practices like newborn care, kangaroo mother care, nurse-led newborn units, and early initiation of breastfeeding.

UNICEF will also join hands with the Trust to build the capacity of the nursing college to become a national centre for midwifery.

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