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Indian-American physicians battle third leading cause of death in India


Patiala Health Foundation looks to provide trauma care, raises $41,000 in first fundraiser

Weirton, WV – The Patiala Health Foundation hosted its first fundraiser in November, raising $41,000 to build a trauma center in Patiala, Punjab, India. The event brought together members of the West Virginia and Ohio South Asian communities, as well as business and medical professionals.

Trauma-related deaths occur every 1.9 minutes in India, according to a 2004 report in the Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine. With traffic increasing, trauma will move from its current ninth position to become India’s third leading cause of death by 2020. The 10% increase in deaths from injuries in Punjab between 1983 and 1992 demonstrates the urgent need for trauma facilities in the region.

The event was organized by a group of local non resident Indian (NRI) physicians, including Amrik and Jaswinder Chattha, Brijinder and Manorama Kochhar, Prahbjhot and Sheena Deol, and Charan and Surinder Nandra. Although this was the foundation’s first fundraiser, its organizers have a strong record of philanthropic work, such as building South Asian temples, and supporting study chairs and galleries across the United States, including the Sikh Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Building the trauma center is also a major objective of Patiala Medical College alumni, which include 200 NRI doctors who currently live in the United States. About 100 other NRI physicians are spread across Canada, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Australia.

“We hope that this fundraiser helped bring awareness of the fact that the pace of industrialization and urbanization in many fast developing countries like India is not being matched by fully equipped health care facilities,” said Dr. Brijinder Singh Kochhar.

Event organizer Dr. Prabhjot S. Deol also noted that “no reliable institutional arrangement exists in India to establish an efficient trauma care system. For now, trauma systems are predominantly supported by non-governmental organizations and private agencies like the Patiala Health Foundation. We must all do our part to give back.”

About the Patiala Health Foundation

The Patiala Health Foundation is a U.S. based and registered non-profit organization whose main objective is to raise money in the United States to support the construction and maintenance of Punjab’s first free-standing trauma center in Patiala, India.


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