Manila: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday interacted with the parents of the infants in the Philippines who successfully underwent liver transplant in India, expressing happiness about the country's engagement with the key Southeast Asian country that has brought people's causes within its expanding ambit.
In the last 28 months, 35 babies from the Philippines have underwent successful liver transplant in India as part of the Philippines-India Pediatric Liver Transplant Program.
Kovind arrived in the Philippines on Thursday as part of his five-day state visit to the country.
Expressing happiness on interacting with Filipino parents whose babies underwent liver transplant in India, Kovind said in a tweet: "this is an example of how India-Philippines ties incorporate a strong human connection. May these adorable babies have a healthy and blessed future. My best wishes to their parents too."
The president said that the Indian medical institutions are working with their counterparts in the Philippines to see how the success rate as well as the costs of similar transplant in the Philippines could be brought down.
Kovind said that he is delighted that India's engagement with Philippines has brought "people's causes and life-giving projects within its expanding ambit."
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet that the president listened to the stories of liver transplant performed on Filipino infants by Indian doctors at Max and Apollo hospitals to cure Biliary Atresia.
"Filipino chapter of FICCI is supporting poor patients to meet the treatment," he tweeted.
According to media reports, the Philippines is struggling with the high cost of specialised medical procedures, such as liver transplants, in the country.
The Philippine Star newspaper reported in August that issues such as unavailability of highly specialised medical equipment, lack of training for liver transplantation medical personnel and expensive medicines are some of the factors leading to high cost of the treatment in the country.
Due to this, patients are forced to seek treatment in countries such as India, where it is cheaper to undergo medical procedures.
Later, the President also visited Mahaveer Philippine Foundation Inc. which distributes free 'Jaipur Foot' to Filipino amputees, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The NGO, which receives grant of the government of India, has 3 centres in Philippines and so far helped more than 15,000 amputees since its inception in 1989.
The Jaipur Foot, a prosthetic limb, was developed in 1968 by a group of eminent orthopaedic surgeons and craftsmen.