On occasion of World Liver Day on 19th April, Bollywood actor and humanitarian Mr. Sonu Sood has joined hands with Aster Volunteers, the global CSR programme of Aster DM Healthcare to encourage people to be aware of the alarming rate of rising liver disease cases in India and take proactive efforts to manage their liver health. Liver failure due unavailability of a viable organ donors is one of the main causes of death from liver disease. The initiative will also support 50 underprivileged children in need of liver transplant receive the needed care at Aster Hospitals’ Multi-Organ Transplant Centre located at Aster CMI and Aster RV Hospitals in Bangalore, and Aster Medcity and Aster MIMS Hospital Calicut in Kerala, India.
In India, liver disease claims 200,000 lives every year,i while only 1500-2000 transplants are conducted every year, 10% of which are for children.ii One of the key reasons is the inability to afford the high costs associated with transplant cases. In addition to this, limited universal health-care access and limited availability of viable donors for transplant are major challenges.
Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare said, “Aster since its inception has always believed in giving back to the society. Through this programme and with our association with a humanitarian like Sonu Sood, we intend to raise awareness on organ donation so that more lives, particularly of children can be saved. In the initial phase, we will be supporting 50 children in need of liver transplants from underprivileged families at our hospitals.”
On joining hands with actor Sonu Sood, Dr. Azad Moopen, added, “Apart from being a successful actor, Sonu Sood is a philanthropist at heart. We have all seen his work during the lockdown days and he continues to do so. At Aster, we have been inspired by his act of volunteerism and philanthropy which is something Aster Volunteers stands for – to invite people to volunteer and support the underprivileged and also empower them for a better future. With Mr. Sood’s support in raising awareness among people we are hoping to reach out to more and more underprivileged families and children whose lives can be saved.”
On supporting Aster Volunteers’ efforts to provide for the liver transplant of 50 underprivileged children, Bollywood Actor & Humanitarian Sonu Sood said, “I happened to come across some of the phenomenal work Aster DM Healthcare has done through Aster Volunteers. It is amazing to see the large number of philanthropic activities taken up by Aster Volunteers and I am glad to support the cause. Rising incidence of liver disease, increasing fatality due to unavailability of viable donors and inability of the needy to afford transplants are causes of concern. We need to collectively come together to raise awareness on the same and help the needy. I hope my voice reaches out to those families whose children are in line for liver transplants but haven’t been able to do so due to unaffordability. I hope the association with Aster Volunteers continues to grow and we work towards a healthier tomorrow.”
Aster Hospital’s newly launched Multi-Organ Transplant centre is a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary centre designed to provide the best transplant experience. The centre is officiated by a skilled team of surgeons with technical expertise in performing different types of transplants including Liver, Kidney, Heart, Lung, Cornea and Bone Marrow Transplant. The centre also has one of the largest paediatric liver transplant programme in entire South India, that supports complete comprehensive care for liver diseases in children, comprising some of the best hepatologists (liver specialist doctors), best liver surgeons, trained coordinators, counsellors, and a nursing team along with critical care specialists, anaesthetists, interventional radiologists, and physiotherapists. The teams at these centres have been trained at some of the best hospitals and specialize in liver treatment abroad, holding a vast experience in hepato-pancreato biliary and abdominal multi-organ transplant surgeries. The centre has completed over 500 successful Liver Transplant Surgeries within the Aster Hospitals in India.