Liver disease is the top 14 cause of death in the Philippines, according to www.worldlifeecpectancy.com. While National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) shows that in 2005, Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates reported that 7,477 Filipinos died of liver cancer second to lung cancer with the estimated annual death of 15,881.
The Department of Health (DOH) website reported also that there were an estimated 5,249 cases of liver cancer in 1998, with 3,906 cases in males and 1,343 cases in females. About 4,403 deaths are expected to occur every year.L to R: Ms. Mary Grace Almajar, Ms. Jonalyn Belista, Dr. Anupam Sibal, Ms. Rebecky Rubio, and Mr. Christopher Jones Sumalpong
These reports are quite alarming but the sad fact is the average medical cost of liver-related illness is quite expensive for the middle-class Filipinos. Some families seek medical attention abroad like India, Taiwan, and Thailand believing that cost of medical and health services is cheaper than our country.
“Two days into the life of my baby, her health to deteriorate. We look for financial assistance from various local and foreign foundations as we knew the cost of a liver transplant was expensive. With God’s help, funds came in from overseas foundations. And we found our way to Apollo Hospitals,” said Jonalyn Belista, mother of two girls from San Pedro Laguna.
More Filipino children are suffering this illness and the medical services in our country is too high, thanks to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi, Filipino parents were given hope to save their children.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals is India’s first JCI accredited hospital. It’s a joint venture between the Government of Delhi and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited. Commissioned in July 1996, it is a third super-specialty tertiary care hospital set up by the Apollo Hospitals Group.
In the last few months, this hospital has performed several pediatric liver transplantations for Filipino Children.
“Our transplantation success rates are comparable to the centers in many developed countries which are truly a credit to the excellent team at Apollo that adheres to the highest standards of clinical care. We value the trust our patients put in us with regard to the most complicated of liver transplants for example, in babies weighing less as 4kg transplants, in children with tumors and combines liver-kidney transplants,” explains Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
“We are privileged to offer hope to babies and children from the Philippines. The support structure in the Philippines for families is remarkable with parents supporting each other. The support from foundations and support groups is truly exemplary. The ‘pay it forward’ culture is so heartwarming and I have not seen this in other countries,” Dr.Anupan added.
Hope for Filipino Children
These past few months several Filipino babies and children benefitted from the hospital’s Apollo Transplant Program. Here are some parents whom I meet during the presscon at Makati Shangrila Hotel last November 22, 2017.
Jonalyn Belista, mother of two from Laguna shares that her one-year-old daughter Jermaine Briseis J. Belista was advised a liver transplant due to advanced liver failure. She was been admitted multiple times due to vomiting of blood.
“The LITRO group shared with us some ideas on how to raise funds, we sold t-shirts, yema spreads and crinkles,” Jonalyn shares.They also received donations in kind and Jermaine father was found to be a compatible donor and underwent a successful liver transplant at Apollo Hospitals. Now Jermaine is fully recovered from transplantation and enjoying her childhood years.
Another successful surgery is baby Nathaniel Almajar. Baby Nathaniel displayed yellow discoloration of eyes and skin which deepened with time. He was diagnosed with the chronic liver disease with Caroli disease, which is the rare congenital disorder of the intrahepatic bile ducts. The family undertook various ways to raise money and flew to India last June 26, 2017, and Nathaniel underwent the liver transplant last July 6, 2017.
“It took 8 to 10 hours to extract liver from the donor and another 10 to 12 hours to perform the transplant. Two months later (August 25,2017), we flew back to the Philipines. Our family and friends are all very happy that Nathaniel is back home and his surgery is successful,” says Mommy Mary Grace.
More and more Filipino babies and children like Kalen (2 months old), a one-month-old Kalem Ashes Lizada and a one-year-old boy Genesis Louis De Guzman were given a new life and hope because of their successful liver transplant surgery in Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has the leading program in kidney and liver transplant in India. “We are proud to have had the country’s first successful pediatrics and adult liver transplants in India and look forward to giving hope to may Filipino children faced with liver-related illnesses,” say Sibal
For more information visit hospital website at http://www.delhi.apollohospitals.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/indraprasthaapollohospitals and follow Twitter: @HospitalsApollo.