Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Miracles of Prashanti Nilayam: Sri Sathya Sai Baba was ahead of time in assessing medical needs of people through superspeciality hospital

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: It was the summer of 1994. A technician in a blood bank in a small village was busy separating the blood components before storing them so that several patients could benefit from a single blood donation. Advanced medical technology had not yet caught up in the State. The corporate health culture had not fanned out of Hyderabad and many blood banks in the country had not even heard of the technology to separate blood components.
The village was Puttaparthi in the ever-parched district of Anantapur and the blood bank belonged to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. Right from its inception in early 1990s, the superspeciality hospital, a brain child of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, had been a trend-setter in providing the best of the medical facilities to the poorest of the poor.
"Did you visit the hospital? How are the facilities there?" the Baba asked a team of visiting journalists from Hyderabad. The media team had just finished visiting all the departments of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
Medical Sciences and the Baba wanted to know whether facilities needed to be upgraded.
The medical vision of the Baba was far ahead of the times. Donated blood if separated into its components like plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, can be utilised for a number of patients depending on their need.
A patient may need just plasma and transfusing only plasma will help in saving other components, which can be utilised in other needy patients. Many hospitals have realised its importance many years after the Baba introduced the concept in Puttaparthi. When a small medical department like blood bank was so advanced 17 years ago, one could easily imagine the type of medical services patients would get in Puttaparthi hospital.
If the Puttaparthi hospital stands testimony to Sri Sathya Sai Baba's unique medical vision, the water supply scheme in Anantapur district speaks of his selfless service to a people, whose district is gradually turning into a desert. The drinking water scheme launched by the Baba remains as man's best answer to Nature's desertification process.
Sri Sathya Sai drinking water project is by far the largest-ever potable water scheme taken up by a non-governmental agency in the country. The scheme, with 750 km main trunk and 1550 km branch lines, covers nine lakh people in 750 villages. The water scheme checked migration of people during summer.
The Baba had also introduced the best of learning and teaching methods at his Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, which is now a deemed university. Thanks to the Baba's vision, a remote area like Puttaparthi could not have seen an advanced planetarium, an airport, a modern hospital and a
university.

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