Kiran and Raghav of Pune haven’t felt a sense of normalcy in their lives since their 5-year-old daughter Shrishti was diagnosed with Leukemia, last year. But with the launch of the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Hematology & Oncology Department of Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children in Mumbai, they will find a place to rest during their daughter’s frequent hospital visits.
The opening of India’s first Ronald McDonald Family Room by RMHC India at BJ Wadia Hospital for Children comes as a ray of hope for the children admitted at the Hematology-Oncology Department, besides proving to be a comfort zone for the families of the children.
Most hospitals in India are known to be cluttered spaces. The lack of quality infrastructure affects thousands of people on a day to day basis, leading to stress not only for children but their families as well.
As the Head of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology Department of B J Wadia Hospital says, “If you walk into my department, you will notice that there’s hardly any place to even walk, with entire families present with the patient child. Because, you see, a disease like cancer is not the disease of one person but of the entire family.”
Over 50% of the children treated at the Wadia Hospital’s Hematology-Oncology Department travel from remote, rural locations in India due to lack of healthcare facilities in their hometowns. The lack of space within the hospital to stay during the treatment, prompts numerous hospital visits and long waiting times for the families.
“A child’s illness can be debilitating for the entire family – emotionally, financially and physically. This new facility represents the beginning of a tremendous partnership between RMHC India and BJ Wadia Hospital for Children. Through this program, we will be able to provide a calm, restful environment where families can relax and regroup while finding the support and encouragement needed to manage better with the uncertainty that comes with the illness of a child. The Ronald McDonald Family Room will improve parents’ ability to advocate for their children,” says Smita Jatia, Chairwoman, RMHC India.