A group of Ugandan children, including Robert Odwar’s five-year-old son and Katty Ayang’s 11-month-old baby, are set to undergo free heart surgeries in India. Odwar’s son, diagnosed with a heart defect at Uganda Heart Institute, and Ayang’s baby, with a large hole in the heart, are among the beneficiaries of this initiative.
Robert Odwar sought sponsors when faced with the shillings 19.6 million surgery cost for his son. Now, these children, unable to afford the necessary surgeries locally, will receive medical care through a partnership between the India Association Uganda and leading cardiac specialists in India.
Kumar Sasi Nair, Secretary of the India Association Uganda, announced the collaboration during a media briefing in Kampala. The initiative aims to address the healthcare gap in Uganda by providing high-quality cardiac care. Since 2008, 161 surgeries have been completed, and this year, the first batch includes three patients with over 300 pending applications.
The heart surgery program covers a range of interventions, such as bypass surgeries and valve replacements. The collaboration with Indian medical professionals and hospitals aims to enhance access to cardiac care in Uganda.
Uganda Airlines will facilitate the transportation of patients and caretakers to Mumbai for the surgeries. The minimum cost of a heart operation in India is $10,000, approximately sh37 million, varying based on the medical condition.