SOCIAL INITIATIVES HEADED BY DR BALAMURALI
Thalirgal (Free Surgery For Babies Born With Congenital Spine And Brain Problems)
Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity in India. According to recent study the infant mortality rate is on the increase alarmingly despite the tremendous advancements in medical technology and skills. With timely intervention, the babies can be saved and most children can lead a normal life like any other healthy child. Though the required skills, expertise, high-end technology and the complete sterile environment to prevent infections and to treat the new born babies are available in some of the private sector hospitals, the lower income people find it difficult to pay the hospital expenses. The delay in timely treatment and the inability to bear the hospital expenses leads to the death of several unfortunate infants.
Anomalies of the spine and the spinal cord are often collectively termed spinal dysraphisms. The true incidence of spinal dysraphism is still unclear and is probably underestimated. Spinal dysraphism can be classified as closed or open, depending on whether the overlying skin is intact or deficient. The open forms require urgent surgery as soon as they are born and any delay can lead to death or poor outcome and severe disability.
The closed form occurs in about 20–30% of the total population and may need surgery in the first few years of life depending on their problem.
Open form is reported to have an incidence of 2–4/1,000 live births. Myelomeningocele accounts for 98.8% of the open spinal dysraphisms. Females are affected slightly more often than males, with the firstborn being usually affected more often. In the recent years, the true incidence of myelomeningocele has varied geographically from region to region based on their diet, fortification of food with folic acid supplements, education and awareness levels, availability of prenatal diagnosis, and elective termination.
Outcomes of most spinal dysraphism is good, however the limb movements after birth, size of lesion, duration between referral and surgery, surgical technique does alter the outcome. Rehabilitation and community inclusion after surgery has to be the focus in the future.
Solution To Problem:
On 21st June 2019, Chennai: ‘Project Thalirgal’ lead by Dr G Balamurali of Kauvery Hospital in association with Rotary Club of Madras North and Government of Tamil Nadu was announced to provide corrective surgeries for treating congenital abnormalities in babies in the Spine and Brain, free of cost.
Providing an opportunity for the low socio-economic group to treat babies who are born with severe congenital problems and to bring in a change in the social and economical development of the community, Project Thalirgal was conceptualized to help these babies to undergo treatment at zero cost.
This unique, Public – Private and Rotary Foundation project addresses a very complex surgical problem and open avenue for such collaborations which are much needed for our population. Each of these organizations identifies their expertise, limitation and importance in making a difference to a Child’s life and future.
These new born babies and children are given a better outcome by early surgery and better post-operative care if they are shifted early to Kauvery Hospital. Kauvery hospital as a part of its social responsibility has been operating on the new born babies from various centres having birth problems (spinal cord congenital problems or tumours).
Launch of Project Thalirgal by Kauveri Hospital
Launch of Project Thalirgal by Kauveri Hospital
AMISH – Awareness Movement For Injuries To The Spine And Head
What Is Project AMISH?
Project AMISH is a non-profit campaign to spread awareness about head and spine injuries. Especially, at the workplace, public places and roads. This project proposes to inform common public about the importance of safety at the workplace, equip them with the knowledge to handle such injuries and sensitize them about the need to enable individuals with such injuries back to the mainstream.
Background Of The Problem
Road traffic accidents, fall from height and at work place accidents seem to be the commonest cause of such injuries. India unfortunately ranks first in the world for these injuries.
Every 5 min someone dies in our roads and this will be 3 per minute by 2020. We will also have the highest number of vehicles on our roads beating USA by 2050. 80% of these accidents happen to the low income group of which 90 % are men between the age group of 18-40. The average cost of treating a head or spine injury could be several lakhs which only leaves them disabled as there is NO permanent cure for most severe injuries. If one member of the family is disabled from an injury it leaves the whole family paralysed and the cost indirectly affects the economy of the country by loss of productivity.
What Can You Do?
Though many people are fighting for the cause by implementing safety rules and regulations on our roads and work place we feel that there is a big lacunae for people to understand the seriousness of the problem.
The reason we are giving importance to head and spine injuries is because these are the most severe injuries that a mankind can suffer.
And the most important thing is this is totally PREVENTABLE by simple measures like education and awareness. This forms the mission of AMISH.
Help us spread the news and join for the good cause. If you had family or friends who have been affected with spine or brain injury here is your chance to make sure that some other loved one does not suffer the same way.
This project was launched in 2014 and has done severe activities of use to the public. Please watch this video to view the activities of AMISH.
AMISH Awareness Movement for Injuries