The Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Nasese today celebrated a milestone achievement after successfully conducting 100 free heart surgeries since its inception last year.
Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka officiated at the event and acknowledged the hospital’s enormous contribution towards Fiji’s healthcare system.
“The Sai Prema Foundation’s intent to build a hospital dedicated to saving the lives of children who live with congenital heart disease is nothing short of a blessing to many families who would never be able to afford open heart surgery abroad,” he said.
“The Foundation has built and established a state-of-the-art specialist children’s heart hospital which has been recognised by internationally-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeons as a facility on par with hospitals in USA, Europe or any of the highly developed countries.
“Thousands of families are grateful for philanthropists like Sumeet, Dr Krupali, Mahend and the Sai Prema Foundation for all that they do to ensure that the gift of life, endowed upon each of us by our Most Loving God flows freely and unhindered for our dear children, grand-children and great grand-children.”
The event was also a special one for the Prime Minister and his wife, Mrs Sulueti Rabuka as they honoured one of their grandsons, who was diagnosed with rheumatic heart ailment.
“He is very dear to us. Sulu and I cannot even imagine what our world would be like if his health condition deteriorated to a level that would require surgery,” said an emotional Hon. Rabuka.
“We count ourselves lucky because so many children present today have had to undergo open heart surgery. Without good Fijians like the Tappoo Family, we would not have been here to celebrate the 100th surgery to be performed here at the hospital. What an achievement.
“As many of you know, on its own, the People’s Coalition Government would not be able to cure all that had gone wrong in this country. Our health system, the state of its infrastructure, the equipment and medicine needed, as well as lifting the working conditions and incentives of our doctors, nurses and health workers require urgent life-saving interventions.
“Your People’s Coalition Government commends the huge self-sacrificing work that you are all doing, and we stand ready to help in any way we can.”
Hospital Director, Dr Krupali Tappoo said the hospital has been treating children with congenital heart defects and all treatments are completely free-of-charge.
“We are eternally grateful to all individuals who have supported the cause and made this hospital a reality,” she said.
“This hospital is built on the foundation of love and service and the essence of compassionate care is engrained in all the staff who work here.
“The hospital is providing hope to so many children and we look forward to working closely with the Fiji Government to ensure that our local medical professionals are given the opportunity to train in pediatric and cardiac care so that in the coming years, we will have our own team that can operate on our children.”
“We are also looking at collaborating with international institutions in the future to conduct research on the causes of congenital heart defects.”
The Prime Minister also had the opportunity to celebrate with some children who have had successful heart surgeries and were due for discharge from the hospital.
Meanwhile, the $25 million state-of-the art hospital was built under the Sai Prema Foundation Fiji, a charitable organisation founded to serve the poor, underprivileged and needy people of Fiji through Medicare, Educare and Sociocare initiatives.