One of the nicest things about RCME is the physical, intellectual and monetary support that the Presidents give to all the Directors and their projects.  This year, when I was thinking that we were going to do only 1 large healthcare project, as 3 Global Grants had already been earmarked for the girls’ schools, Prez RMN pulls a fat rabbit out of his hat much to my happiness. The need was a government hospital project, and preferably in Pediatrics.  Through the Madras Medical College batch-mate group, we identified two beneficiaries,but our visit to the Stanley Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU) put a full stop to our search.  Seeing emaciated and extremely sick babies, their helpless mothers, and the team of dedicated doctors toiling away selflessly with the bare minimum equipment, would move the most stoic heart!

In true RCME style, the requirements were identified and vendors shortlisted in 2 weeks flat.  Cognizant Foundation responded almost immediately to the proposal and after their own due diligence and paperwork, the project was sanctioned.

7 infusion pumps, 5 syringe pumps to administer metered doses of injectable medicines, 2 High Frequency Nasal Cannulae for Oxygen (HFNC) delivery that prevents use of mechanical ventilation, 5 patient monitors, and a Computerized Radiography system that would provide digitally enhanced images of X Rays for interventional purposes, were the equipment donated. The total project value was Rs 24,00,000. In a magnanimous gesture, Cognizant Foundation insisted that the equipment be put to immediate use without waiting for a formal inauguration. It was absolutely satisfying to see two babies benefitting from the HFNC during the inauguration and even more satisfying to hear that they had improved and would be taken off the support the very next day.

The equipment was officially dedicated to the ICU on October 5th in the Institute of Social Paediatrics, Government Stanley Hospital.  Mr Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Director, Cognizant Foundation and Executive Director, Cognizant India, was the Chief Guest, as well as the Cognizant Foundation team with its CEO, Mr Madhavan, and COO, Mrs Rajashree were present.  The Stanley Dean, Dr N Ponnambalam, along with Director of Paediatrics, Dr Ravichandran, Professors Dr M A Aravind and Dr Poovazhagi (my batchmates), and the team of post graduates were impeccably hospitable hosts. DG Rtn Babu Peram, AG Rtn Gopal, and senior district officials graced the occasion – but the icing on the cake was the presence of nearly 25 RCMEians!  Thank you RCME for this project and thank you Rtn Srini Rao for the Cognizant connect.

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