“Sarve Bhavanthu Sukhinah”
SWASTI, a health and well-being initiative, with the aim of improving awareness and promoting positive health and well-being was launched at Amrita Hospital on September 25, 2017. The aim of SWASTI is working collaboratively with various schools, colleges, institutes, organisations and the public to deliver a range of educational programmes, presentations and interactive forums on mental health and well-being. “Depression: Let’s talk” is the World Health Organisation (WHO) theme for 2017. Mental Health in the workplace is the theme for the World Mental Health day this year (10 October 2017). The launch of SWASTI is based on the theme of “Mental Health”. There is “No health without mental health” and the aim is to raise the awareness and profile of health and well-being.
Well known lyricist, poet and script writer, Sri. Mankombu Gopalakrishnan, inaugurated the launching of “SWASTI”. Swami Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, gave the benedictory address. Cine actor, Meera Vasudevan, launched the social media website of SWASTI and shared with the audience about the subject Reel Life and Real Life: Perceptions and Perspectives on Mental Health. Commissioner of Income Tax, Dr. Jayasankar Neelakantan IRS unveiled Swasti logo and delivered the key note address. Music composer and sound designer, Sri. Dhevesh, recited the poem ‘SWASTI’.
Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Vishal Marwaha, Principal, Amrita School of Medicine; Dr. U. Krishnakumar, Director, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi; Dr. Sanjeev K. Singh, Medical Superintendent, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Valsraj Menon, Additional Medical Superintendent, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Kesavankutty, Head of Psychiatry Department, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Gitanjali Natarajan, Head of Clinical Psychology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences; Dr. Aswathy S., Professor of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Sai Bala, Nursing Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences spoke on the occasion. Students under the Amrita University performed various programs based on the subjects on mental health to improve public understanding of mental health and delivered on-going activities on health and well-being.
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Project Duration: 3 Years
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A group of ten young children from Uganda – including one boy and nine girls – suffering from congenital heart disease have successfully undergone open-heart surgery at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital) and are ready to return home next week, all hale and hearty. The patients have been brought to India under Rotary International’s ‘Gift of Life’ program which provides free treatment to child heart patients from economically disadvantaged families in low and middle income countries from around the world.
The children, including two infants aged 6 and 9 months,were previously screened by paediatric cardiologists from Children’s National Hospital, Washington DC, USA, and identified as suitable candidates for surgery. When the mother of nine-month-old Beth Amutuhaire, struggling for life due to a critical congenital heart disease, was approached by Rotary International in Uganda offering free open-heart surgery in India, she refused initially, as she had already been cheated twice of her hard-earned money due to false promises. The parents of two-year-old Atoo Rescurter were fighting against social prejudices of their own community elders, who were asking them to leave the child to her fate to suffer. Similar was the case of six-year-old Benson Muheki whose parents were told that her heart problem could never be fixed.
Said Dr. AC Peter,National Coordinator, Gift of Life (India), Rotary International: “Facilities for critical open-heart surgery for young children are almost non-existent in Africa. The parents of these 10 children, with almost the same stories and speaking different dialects from various regions of Uganda, were persuaded by Rotary International to travel to Kochi for surgery. The patients would all have perished within a few years had this opportunity of free open-heart surgery was not offered to them. Their parents were heart-broken and had lost all hope.” The Rotary Club, Cochin Knights, came forward to coordinate the project locally, in partnership with the Piravom Pampakuda River Valley Club. Vipin Nadakkal and his team received the children and parents at midnight at the Kochi international airport and escorted them to Amrita Hospital.
Said Dr. PK Brijesh, the heart surgeon from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences who performed the surgeries: “While the parents were expecting only cardiac surgery, we at Amrita Hospital went a step further and treated many children for other ailments too while rectifying their congenital heart disease. We realized that the patients will not get a second chance to visit a hospital and no one will treat them for those problems, if we did not do so at present. So not only was eye-sight restored for the two-year-old Christine Namalwa, but Mariam Biira was also cured of a condition called Exomphalos in which the bowel and liver protrude outside the abdominal cavity. Thanks to motherly care extended by Amrita hospital and Rotary Clubs, the Ugandan parents and children, who landed at Kochi with apprehension, have already picked up several Malayalam words, mingling with the hospital staff. They feel they are at home away from home, and in safe hands. The state-of-the–art infrastructure at Amrita Hospital, together with the dedication of its medical and support staff, has enabled successful surgery of all the patients from Africa at a fraction of the cost that would be charged at hospitals in Europe or America.”
The life-long scarson the chest of the Ugandan children will remain as a testimony to the warm hospitality and love of people of Kerala for their brethren from Africa.
The program was inaugurated by Dr.Prem Nair, Medical Director. Dr.Sanjeev K Singh, Medical Superintendent, Dr. Krishna Kumar, Head of the Paediatric Cardiology and Dr. Brijesh Paediatric Cardiology participated in the program.
The Sixth National Conference of INS India was conducted on 11th and 12th August 2017 with the theme - Achieve Excellence with Infusion Standards - at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Mumbai with various oral and poster presentation in different categories. Three delegates representing Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences along with the Nursing Director (GC Member- INS India) participated in the conference. The achievements were:
INS Master Mind Final Quiz National Level Competition was conducted on 11th August 2017 with 5 teams representing North, East, West, South 1 and South 2. Ms. Sowmya M. N. (Amrita Hospital, Kochi) and Ms. Jisha John (Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi) were selected as ‘the South 2 team’ among 900 RNs and bagged First position for the INS Master Mind Final Quiz National Level Competition.
Prof. (Dr.) Bhaskaran Pillai, Professor and Head, Medical Physics & Radiation Safety, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences has been elected as Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). He was recently recognized as Fellow at the 59th Annual meeting of AAPM and their awards function at Denver, CO.
Prof. (Dr.) Bhaskaran K. Pillai worked as a Senior Scientific Officer heading the Division of Medical Physics at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre India. He obtained a MS in Radiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD in Biomedical Physics at the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio.
He is certified by the ABR in Therapeutic, Diagnostic and Medical Nuclear Physics. He was a member of several committees of AAPM and has several publications to his credit, including a book chapter; several abstracts and presentations at national and international conferences.
Dr. Pillai has been responsible to initiate Medical Physics and Radiation Safety department at Amrita. He has passionately formulated state-of-the-art Quality Assurance processes for all Radiation Oncology & Radiology modalities. He has trained and mentored 48 Medical Physicists. He also instituted a two-year Post Graduate Diploma Program in Medical Radiological Sciences, employing a distance learning internet tool where an all-volunteer faculty from the USA, Canada, and Australia interactively teach students in India.