Project KIND — Kidney in need of dialysis — got a shot in the arm with RC Madras Industrial City, RID 3232, donating six dialysis machines to the Nephrology department of the Hindu Mission Hospital, Chennai, to strengthen its free and concessional services to underprivileged patients. The GG project worth ₹43 lakh was done in partnership with RC The Hills-Kellyville, RID 9685, Australia. Under similar projects the district’s clubs will install over 100 dialysis machines at government and charitable trust hospitals in Chennai.
The new machines will augment the capacity to 16 units. Speaking at the handover event, RI Director A S Venkatesh said, “Rotary’s topmost priority is world peace, which is not absence of war. If people can’t access healthcare, water and education, then we are not creating a community for sustainable peace. Given the amount of work Rotary is doing in Africa, I am sure in the next 7–8 years, those countries will attain healthcare delivery as good as in developed societies.”
Rotarians are always ready to expend time, resources, efforts and money for noble causes, but the real work is done by the doctors at charitable hospitals like the Hindu Mission.
— RI Director A S Venkatesh
Ever since DG J Sridhar took up with Venkatesh, over 18 months ago, the ambitious project of installing 100 dialysis machines in Chennai hospitals, “I was amazed by his commitment to this cause and the way he went about implementing it,” he added. Rotarians are always ready to expend time, resources, efforts and money for noble causes, “but the real work is done by the doctors at charitable hospitals like the Hindu Mission, who are involved and dedicated.”
A tremendous job
Rotary has a long and happy association with this charitable institution. “All the doctors and other staff members are doing a great service to society,” said DG Sridhar, adding that while Rotary has only donated the machines, “all the accessories and support services are being provided by the hospital which is critical for the success of healthcare delivery.” Recalling his long-felt wish to do something for the hospital, he said, “every day when I travel to Oragadam (a suburb) to my workplace, I can’t miss seeing this charitable trust that is doing enormous service to poor people who can’t afford medical care. I had decided then to collaborate with this institute.”
Recently, the hospital has set up a new organ transplant wing to perform heart, lung, liver, kidney and eye transplant surgeries. “We have been doing cornea transplants for the underprivileged for some time now,” said Dr D K Sriram, medical director, Hindu Mission Hospital. “Patients with end-stage renal disease have to undergo dialysis lifelong, and kidney transplant is the only solution for them, but it comes with a lot of associated problems,” he said. Time and again, Rotary has helped the hospital with its methodical and organised work ethic and “we are looking forward to continue our partnership with them.”
The 39-year-old quaternary care hospital being run by the Kanchi Kamakoti Trust and led by founder-secretary D K Srinivasan, does 50 eye surgeries, including free cornea transplants with the help of its eye bank, and at least seven rural outreach camps a week; provides free food to patients and their caretakers; free audiology and speech therapy to special children; holds artificial limb fitment camps on Saturdays; and provides free thrombolysis within the golden hour to young victims of heart attacks, said Dr Sriram.
“At this hospital we charge ₹750–₹1,000 for a dialysis session. For an underprivileged patient it is done entirely free. The GG approval was granted in just 13 days due to the meticulous paper work done by Rtns Gaurav Jain and Rajagopal,” said club president Satheesh Kumar. Six clubs will install 10 dialysis machines at the VHS Hospital in Chennai with RC Chennai Hallmark taking up the lead role in this GG project ($156,000) and RC Alamo, RID 5840, US is their global partner.
So far, two Covid vaccination camps were done by RC Madras Industrial City inoculating 450 people; and a health check-up camp reached out to 150 people, said Kumar. The club with 49 members marked its charter day, Feb 19, on its silver jubilee year by handing over the dialysis machines to Dr Sriram. RID Venkatesh presented the five-year warranty agreement to the hospital CEO in the presence of DG Sridhar and club office-bearers. Project KIND chair S Subramanian coordinated the work for this project.
Pictures by V Muthukumaran