Good news for the heart

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete with the successful heart operation child Robert Jeff and his father Kameli yacalevu during the celebration at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevni Medical Centre yesterday. Picture: RAMA

THE revelation that Fiji will be home to the first dedicated pediatric health facility when the $25 million Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Heart Hospital opens later this year will no doubt be met with joy.

According to Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, the centre would be the biggest children’s hospital outside of Australia and New Zealand.

It’s the first of its kind in the region.

The dedicated children’s heart hospital is a project of the Sai Prema Foundation.

Dr Waqainabete believes the hospital will become a pediatric cardiac hub to children in Fiji and the Pacific.

Dr Waqainabete officiated at the foundation’s Gift of Life ceremony at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Medical Centre in Nasese, Suva yesterday.

A formal announcement, he said, would be made in the coming weeks to reveal more details on the proposed hospital.

Sai Prema Foundation Fiji director Sumeet Tappoo said he was overwhelmed with what the foundation had been able to achieve in three and a half years.

“Now we are embarking on the $25 million children’s hospital, it is the largest project ever embarked upon by any NGO in the history of Fiji.

“This hospital will save the lives of thousands and thousands of children from Fiji and the Pacific. People ask me why are you in such a rush to build this hospital, I’ll tell you why, it is because the heart is a ticking time bomb.

“A contractor asked me to delay the opening from April to November, I said no because there is a child waiting somewhere in Fiji to be operated on and if it was your child you would not waste one minute.”

Any assistance for our children will be welcomed. Parents and guardians will no doubt find this an encouraging development especially as we have many illnesses affecting our children.

A centre focused on our children means focused attention on their needs and on illnesses that affect them. It means there is readily available service focused on our children.

It will no doubt reassure parents and guardians.

They have that reassurance that there is a centre that has doctors and nurses who are able to provide the best service for our young ones.

The best news is that our young ones may not need to travel abroad for further treatment when they suffer heart ailments. Any effort to provide this focused attention will be welcomed with open arms.

Acknowledgment is due for all those who have been part of this great initiative, some of them working behind the scenes to provide the platform to start this.

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