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18 July 2024

Free heart surgery for 50 Filipino kids

By VM Sathish

Dubai-based doctor- entrepreneur Dr Azad Mooppen has launched a new charity drive in the Philippines by offering free heart surgery to 50 Filipino children suffering from heart problems.

The ‘Save the Little Hearts’ campaign started in Manila after Dr Mooppen did similar free heart surgeries for a hundred weak-hearted children in India.

Dr Moopen’s Foundation, the non-profit arm of Dubai-based DM Healthcare group, has extended its charitable activities to the Philippines as part of its promise to deliver ‘Care Beyond Boundaries’.

The free surgery announcement was made by Dr. Azad Moopen during an event held recently at Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Manila. The event was attended by Enrique Ona, Secretary of Health, Philippines,  Amit Dasgupta, Indian ambassador to the Philippines, senior officials of Philippines government, senior officials of DM Healthcare, and the child beneficiaries and their guardians.

Dr. Moopen said: “As an employer of choice to many Filipino staff at DM Healthcare, we wanted to give something back to the community that is integral to our growth.”

“We are thankful to the authorities in the Philippines whose support has made it possible for us to launch this initiative here. ‘Save The Little Hearts’ is among our first charity initiatives in the Philippines,” Dr. Moopen added.

Secretary Enrique Ona said: “I commend Dr. Mooppen’s Foundation for its philanthropic work in the Middle East, India, and now here in the Philippines. I am happy to note that your foundation has established its local headquarters in the country. The Department of Health (DOH) finds it gratifying to have worked with DM Healthcare Foundation for the benefit of pediatric patients with congenital heart defects (CHD) in the Philippines.

“Congenital heart defect, with its high mortality rate for patients in the first year of their life, is a challenge not only in the Philippines but for the rest of Asia, Europe, and the United States.

“As the lead agency responsible for the health needs of Filipino people, we at the DOH share with Dr. Moopen’s Foundation a common vision of providing healthcare to those who need it most.”

Dr Moopen’s Foundation will work with some government hospitals in the Philippines to select young patients with heart diseases based on their need for treatment. The patients will be recommended for treatment at a hospital under the DM Healthcare network. Minor surgeries that can be treated within the Philippines will be carried out under supervision and funding by Dr Moopen’s Foundation. Patients sent to India will be treated at a hospital in the DM Healthcare network, including MIMS (Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences Ltd), a tertiary care referral hospital in Kerala.

Dr Moopen’s Foundation has also launched a Facebook campaign called ‘1Like 1Heart To Save’, where every ‘like’ on the Facebook page of ‘Save the Little Hearts’ helps give free surgery to children with CHD. With every like, the foundation has committed to donate 100 Philippine pesos (about Dh9) towards the initiative.  The Facebook page for the initiative has got over 5,000 ‘likes’ in the first week of its launch.