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Times of India
03 November 2011
Guwahati India

A group of 13 children within the age group of 12, with congenital heart diseases, were sent to Narayan Hrudayalaya in Bangalore for free treatment on Wednesday. The treatment is being sponsored by the state health department in collaboration with Narayan Hrudayalaya.

The children were selected after a brief screening by the doctors here depending on the seriousness of the problem. The children, along with an attendant or family member, would be given airfare along with accommodation.

"The 13 children were 'spill over' cases from last year. Since they could not be included in last year's group, they were sent this year," a senior official of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) informed.

"The initiative was started last year with an aim of eradicating heart diseases in children. It was initially meant for children from BPL families but later, we made it available to all children. This year, we are planning to send 270 more patients from different parts of the state," the official added.

The patients mainly from Boko, Dhemaji and Chaygaon, came down to GMCH and were taken to the airport from there. They all seemed hopeful.

"I have been experiencing breathing problems for the last two years, but my parents couldn't figure out what was wrong. Later, doctors here said that I have heart problem and so I am being sent to Bangalore," 10 year old Hiranya Kalita, one of the selected patients said.

He is being accompanied by his aunt Bhanu Kalita as his father is not well. "His father is a daily wage earner. So, even though we knew about his heart disease, we could not do anything as we cannot afford such costly treatments. When the GMCH doctors informed us about this new scheme, we came here and Hiranya got selected," Bhanu Kalita said.

"The scheme of free treatment sounded good. But even though my daughter was selected last year, she was not sent for some reason. But the doctors assured us that she would be sent this time and finally we are going today. I hope my daughter gets well soon," Lahori Das, mother of another 9 year old child said.

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