Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi successfully completes 21 Pediatric Liver Transplants on Filipino babies within a span of 18 months.
Liver transplantation continues to be a challenge for many Filipino families. The average medical cost of liver-related illness is beyond the means of many Filipino families. Given the rising cost of medical and health services in the country as compared to other Asian countries like lndia, Taiwan, and Thailand, many Filipino families seek medical attention abroad. Many Filipinos has found Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi as a go to centre 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 India for their treatment.
Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals stated that Apollo Hospitals is considered as a preferred destination for transplant cases. “The Apollo Transplant Program is the busiest solid organ transplant programs in the world since 2012. In 2017, it not only catered to domestic needs, but also to patients from 44 other countries.” India stands out as a destination for successful transplants as 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 15 months, the hospital has undertaken 21 pediatric liver transplant cases from 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 comparable to the best published outcomes 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 Hospitals, 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. Like other diseases many Liver Diseases are curable, if diagnosed and treated timely,”
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 and 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,” Jonalyna, 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 hospitalisation, he developed jaundice which was managed conservatively. “From there his condition worsened as he developed progressive abdominal distension. With the help of PAR 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, father of Baby Fortune never stop himself in praising Apollo Hospitals. “Fortune is our first kid and when we found the complications, we were very tensed and didn’t know where to go. PAR and Hope Foundation came to us to help and in the 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.”
Partnerships with Filipino Organizations
Pinoy Aspiring Runners (PAR), a charitable organisation that supports Biliary Atresia patients in Philippines, identifies liver transplant operation (LITRO) babies, along with Hope Foundation Germany, which provides financial support to patients for the treatment in Indian hospitals. Parents of the children credit the talented team at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals for not only providing effective treatment but also constant guidance at every step.
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