“Hon Prime Minister of Fiji unveiling the children’s free heart screening centre”
The 2nd stage of progression for the foundation was the official inauguration of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Screening Centre by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama on the 24th of April 2019. The child heart screening centre is located within the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre and is once again providing absolutely free of cost service to all children who are referred there.
The screening room is filled with colorful cartoon characters on the walls to enable children to feel at ease when coming in for screening. The room contains a state-of-the-art ECHO machine which is the only one of its calibre in the South Pacific region. With a specialized pediatric probe, the unit delivers quality high-resolution ultrasound images to view a child’s beating heart and the associated vessels and valves in great detail, thereby enabling a comprehensive diagnosis to be made.
The ECHO machine was first utilized in April 2019 when more than 70 children that were short listed with possible heart conditions and enabled Cardiologist Dr. Ben Anderson to be able to make a comprehensive diagnosis and provide crucial information to our International team of surgeons representing Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals India to come up with a surgical treatment plan. 17 children were eventually treated successfully for congenital heart disease.
The screening centre is now regularly utilized by local screening specialist Dr. Maryanne Kora’ai who was sent on scholarship in Raipur in early 2018 by Sai Prema Foundation Fiji in association with the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital. Her fellowship in non-invasive pediatric cardiology along with the newly opened child heart screening centre is making a big difference to the lives of children with congenital heart disease.
A Child Heart Screening Initiative
To assist with the “Gift of Life” initiative, the Foundation launched a new project entitled “HeartBeat”, in association with the Fiji Ministry of Health. This is a national heart screening initiative for the children of Fiji to identify any potential heart conditions and ensure that they are given the deserving treatment.
To launch the project, Dr. Maryanne Kora’ai and her team travelled with the Foundation’s team to the Rural villages of Fiji as part of the “Health on Wheels” initiative. 40 children were given “Echo Screening” and 4 cases were identified with potential heart disease – 3 rheumatic and 1 congenital. These children were referred for further testing at CWM Hospital in the Capital City.
Cases identified will be scheduled for screening & potential surgeries with the Gift of Life team’s visit to Fiji. Children with more complex problems will be referred to the specialist Cardiac Team from the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital in India.