BY JELANI GRANT
The Three Rivers Kids Foundation held their annual Children in Mission Heartbeat fundraising dinner and dance at the Shingar Banquet Hall to send another group of children to India for medical care in 2017.
Three Rivers Kids Foundation is a Registered Charitable Organization based in Ontario, Canada but also servicing people in Guyana and India. Founded by registered nurse, Jeanette Singh, the organization works to assist sick children in Guyana, whose parents cannot afford medical care, by sending them to India where they can receive the medical treatment or surgery they need.
Regardless of the illness, TRKF seeks out appropriate medical treatments for their patients. “These children are suffering from conditions, some of which have causes unknown”, said Singh. She has twenty-five years of nursing experience in the United Kingdom and Canada and continues the demanding health-care position while acting as president of TRKF.
The foundation supplies medications to children from Guyana on a regular basis while also supplying them with wheelchairs, commodes, prescription glasses and hearing aids. They pay for the medical treatment for children who need to be brought overseas through donations and fundraisers such as the Mission Heartbeat dinner and dance. Four Guyanese children were flown to Max Hospital in Delhi, India for much-needed medical treatment in May 2016, through an initiative arranged by TRKF.
Though the Three Rivers Kids Foundation became registered as a Non-Government Organization in 2008, they had already begun helping patients from Guyana obtain life-saving surgery in India. In 2008, Singh announced to the Guyana Chronicle Newspaper that the organization would begin serving adults as well. Since then, unpaid volunteers, including the board members, have continued to dedicate themselves to making sure their patients receive medical care. The estimated cost of this operation is approximately $55,000. “The cases that are going out are very costly and we need at least $50,000 in contingency funds for unforeseen circumstances”, said Jeanette Singh.
There are over 100 children on the waiting list to be sent overseas to receive treatment, however in 2014, Three Rivers Kids Foundation President Jeanette Singh was told that all children in Guyana suffering from Congenital Heart Disease would be sent to the Dominican Republic for treatment.
Singh encourages anyone willing, to help the organization by offering their services, preparing meals, or donating clothes and travel kits for the children and their parents. All the surgeries will be performed at no cost courtesy of The Baby Heart Foundation.
With a population of more than 760,000 people, there are regularly hundreds of sick and poor children in Guyana who need medical assessments and treatments. There are 0.5 available physicians per 1,000 people per the WHO Statistical Information System. Guyana does not have enough pediatric cardiac surgeons and lacks many medical specialists and facilities. Most of the children in the program suffer from life threatening conditions and will not survive if they do not receive the proper medical care.
These children must be brought overseas for potentially life-saving treatment and TRKF continues to make this possible for more youth in need. With any available donations, this charity can continue to assist the people of Guyana and possibly expand their reach to other financially incapable families. In fact, because they have branches in Mississauga as well as India, they have already managed to improve the health of a few kids in these areas.