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Friday, September 07, 2018

APOLLO HOSPITALS IN INDIA COMPLETES 21 FILIPINO PEDIATRIC LIVER TRANSPLANT CASES WITHIN 18 MONTHS


We all know that getting hospitalized —may it be just a simple minor ailment already cost an amount of money especially for the middle and lower class Filipinos. What more if the ailment needs a major operation like a liver-related illness.

Last August 24, I was deeply touched and overjoyed upon seeing the faces of happy parents and their children who underwent a successful liver transplant at the Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi India.

Given the rising cost of medical and health services, and medicine in the country as compared to other Asian countries like India, Taiwan, and Thailand, many Filipino families seek medical attention abroad. Many Filipinos have discovered Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals as a suitable alternative for liver transplantation. India is perceived as economically viable when it comes to intricate treatments like liver transplants and with Apollo hospitals’ proven expertise, international patients now look towards the country for their treatment.

“The Apollo Transplant Program is the busiest solid organ transplant programs in the world since 2012. In 2017, it not only caters to the domestic needs, but also to patients from 44 other countries.”  ~ Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Paediatric Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

He stated that Apollo Hospitals is considered as a preferred destination for transplant cases. 

India showcases as a destination for successful transplants is manifested in the real-life story of Sanjay, the first child in India to have been successfully transplanted at the age of 18 months in 1998. Sanjay is now a medical student leading a normal life. The first successful liver transplant in India was performed at Apollo Hospitals, Delhi in 1998. Since then, more than 3,100 liver transplants have been performed at Apollo of which 298 were performed on children. 

Successful Stories for Filipino Babies
In the last 18 months, the hospital has undertaken 21 pediatric liver transplant cases from the Philippines. 

Baby Emma Scarlet Mendoza, Baby Nathaniel Almazar, Baby Genesis Louis De Guzman, Baby Jermaine Briseis J Belista, Baby Kalem Asher Lizada, and Baby Fortune are among the Filipino babies who were successfully treated at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. “Our transplantation success rates are some of the best in the world, which is truly a credit to the excellent team at Apollo Hospital that adheres to the highest standards of clinical care. We value the trust our patients put in us with regard to the most complicated of liver transplants (e.g., in babies weighing as less as 4 kilograms), combined liver-kidney transplants and multi-organ transplants,” Dr Sibal said. 

Dr Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant Department, Apollo Hospital, Delhi stated, “Liver transplantation in small babies are more complex than a regular liver transplant. We are now able to perform transplants in high-risk cases, very small babies, patients with difficult anatomy and patients with multi organ dysfunction. We have also performed liver transplants in patients who do not have blood compatible donors. It is this expertise that gives hope and happiness to patients from world over who come to Apollo Hospitals to seek respite from their ailments.” 



Stressing upon the progress achieved in liver transplants, especially in children, Dr. Sibal further added, “An answer to the treatment of liver diseases is the early diagnosis. If a person experiences any of such symptoms then he must seek medical help immediately. Like any other disease Liver Diseases are curable too, if diagnosed and treated timely.” 

While in India, Filipino families enjoy the hospitality and warmth provided by the hospital team. Each family is assigned a dedicated guest relations officer, a single point of contact who facilitates both medical and non-medical queries. “Our team tries to ensure the convenience and comfort of Filipino families during their stay in the hospital by providing them with value added services such as a dedicated lounge. We even offer Filipino cuisine that makes our guests feel at home at Apollo Hospital.” said Raj Raina, General Manager – Marketing & Strategic Business. Families are also offered free airport transfers and free transportation services around the city.

Baby Jermaine from Philippines underwent successful liver transplants at Indraprastha Apollo hospitals last year. “My baby displayed yellow discoloration of eyes and skin, which deepened with time. He was diagnosed with chronic liver disease with Caroli disease, which is a rare congenital disorder of the intrahepatic bile ducts. He/she too underwent living related liver transplant. His operation was successful and he was discharged after 3 weeks. We are thankful to PAR, Hope and Apollo Hospitals for their quick support and speedy recovery of my child,” Jonalyn, mother of the baby, quipped.

Baby Genesis Louis De Guzman, a one-year-old toddler, was diagnosed with chronic liver disease with biliary atresia. Immediately upon birth, he developed pneumonia and during his hospitalization, he developed jaundice which was managed conservatively. “From there his condition worsened as he developed progressive abdominal distension. With the help of LITRO Babies Phils. Inc. and Hope Foundation, I admitted my baby at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for liver transplantation, which went smoothly. My family and I are grateful to the Hospital for the successful treatment and the care they provided us during our stay,” the mother of Baby Genesis said.

Adding to the sentiments of Baby Genesis’ parents, the father of Baby Fortune never stopped himself in praising Apollo Hospitals. “Fortune is the first kid and when we found the complications, we were very tensed and didn’t know where to go. LITRO babies and Hope Foundation came to us for help and in next few days, we were at Apollo Hospitals for treatment. The Doctors here are very experienced and they shared with us full detail of the problem. After regular medication and a surgery, my boy responded positively and recovered from the complicated disease. I am thankful to the Doctors and the Hospital for giving my son a new life.” LITRO (Liver Transplant Operation) Babies Phils. Inc. was first organized on December of 2014. Jennifer Mohamad Sumalpong, the president and founder of LITRO.

Partnerships with HOPE Foundation For Children 
Hope (Hold On Pain Ends) Foundation for Children works closely with BILD hilft e.V. “Ein Herz fur Kinder” based in Germany, in providing financial support to liver transplantation patients. 


Due to massive applicants worldwide, BILD hilft e.V. “Ein Herz fur Kinder” only accepts a maximum of 4-5 patients per month from the Philippines through Hold On Pain Ends (HOPE) For Children, Inc. “We started sending patients to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India by first quarter of 2017 and up to this date there have been around 24 patients from the Philippines who underwent liver transplantation through the help of HOPE and BILD,” said Nina P. Mahler, President, HOPE Foundation For Children, Inc. Mahler is a Registered Nurse and a Registered Midwife by profession and a full-time mom to five children and a housewife. Mahler is married to Heinz Mahler, a German national from Hamburg, Germany, who helped open the doors to with BILD hilft e.V. “Ein Herz fur Kinder” Mahler adds, “I do believe that influencing one another to help others is a way of promoting humanity. We can save more children from the call of death if we can reach more people who are able to help and are willing to help.” 



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