Rotary Dialysis Centre, Kottayam, a boon for the poor

Smiling faces and mutual greetings among Rotarians created a joi de vivre at the venue as DG Dr Thomas Vavanikunnel inaugurated the Rotary Dialysis Centre with two machines and an RO plant at the Mercy Hospital in Thalayolaparambu, a town in Kottayam district. RC Kottayam North, RID 3211, completed its maiden dialysis project through a global grant worth ₹32 lakh.

L to R: AG V J John, club secretary K M Scaria, club president Joseph K J, DG Dr Thomas Vavanikunnel and club president-elect Jojo Alexander at the inauguration of dialysis centre at the Mercy Hospital.
L to R: AG V J John, club secretary K M Scaria, club president Joseph K J, DG Dr Thomas Vavanikunnel and club president-elect Jojo Alexander at the inauguration of dialysis centre at the Mercy Hospital.

The project was completed with support from RC Lakewood, Washington, US, RID 5020, and club members contributing ₹7.5 lakh as their share. “We also donated two dialysis machines and cots at the Sacred Heart Medica Centre as part of this project. They already have 10 machines and our new units will supplement their facilities. We have signed an MoU with them for sponsoring 440 dialysis to needy patients every year,” said club president Joseph K J. While ₹18 lakh was spent on setting up the ­dialysis centre at the Mercy Hospital, the balance (₹13 lakh) went for the installations at the SH Medical Centre. The one at the Mercy Hospital will do 550 free dialysis for needy patients.

Under the Save ­Kidney, Save Life ­Project, the club along with the Muthoot M George Foundation extended free dialysis to 20 patients at a cost of ₹2.34 lakh.

Chartered in 1981, the club lifted its public image four years ago when it implemented WinS projects on a big scale. Recalling those days, Joseph said, “we built a toilet block at a government high school, staged a number of demos on best hygiene practices in schools and also installed a couple of handwash stations. It was a PR success as people took note of us.”

With total membership at 49, the club has so far done eight small-scale community projects this year at an overall cost of ₹4 lakh. The club gave ₹37,500 to a needy patient who had undergone heart valve replacement. “Our grant will take care of her post-operative treatment and medical expenses,” he said.

Ten pulse oximeters worth ₹20,000 were donated to the district corona cell, Covid First Line Treatment Centre. “We provided television sets for two poor students to attend online classes.” The club still takes care of the maintenance of a rest room it set up for both genders in 1988 at a private bus terminus in Kottayam.

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