We are a non – profit foundation constituted as a Public Charitable Trust. We enable and fund heart surgery for needy children with heart disease. Congenital heart disease (CHD) or birth defects of the heart have a big impact on childhood death and disability, globally. Nearly 300,000 children are born each year in India with CHD, nearly 1/3rd of whom need expensive heart surgery soon after birth. There are just a handful of hospitals across India that have the ability to treat such children. Such heart surgeries are often complex and expensive, and need advanced infrastructure, equipment and expertise. Many families simply cannot afford treatment or find it difficult to access care. Currently, most of the private health insurance schemes do not cover costs of CHD care. AHF facilitates expert care for such needy children at the globally renowned Pediatric Heart Centre of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospitals), Kochi, with funding support from private and corporate donors.
At Amrita Hospitals, slightly differently from most other hospitals in India many of the pediatric patients are infants, and amongst these a fair number actually get operated upon for critical heart disease within days after birth. Smaller children are often considered more challenging to take care of in the pediatric cardiac care pathway. The Department also supports our pediatric cardiology team in running their intensive care unit where children are often supported till they are well after cardiac catheter based intervention, or sometimes, stabilized before they receive a cardiac surgical operation. This often also involves taking care of sick neonates transported from other centres in and outside the state for emergency cardiac care. It also trains students to acquire skills and knowledge that they can use in other centres in the country, and, more recently, in other low resource locations outside India. We also try to generate data or improve some processes in the care pathway that other similar institutions can acquire. We are constantly striving to improve our services: incorporating technology such as assessing the lung using ultrasound to reduce the use of X rays and attempting to shorten stays in intensive care which hastens recovery. All in all, we are an integral component of the key to success in pediatric cardiac care: teamwork with our surgical and physician colleagues from cardiac surgery, cardiology, neonatology, and , pediatrics.