Delivering health and hope in Zimbabwe

Saturday, April 5, 201410:18:20 EDT AM

Niagara Falls physician Dr. Artaj Singh recently returned from a humanitarian trip to Zimbabwe

Dr. Artaj Singh knows it’s the little things in life that can make a big difference.

The Niagara Falls physician recently returned from Zimbabwe where he delivered a life-saving medicine that, although readily available in Canada, is a rare commodity in the African nation.

At the capital’s largest hospital, premature babies were dying at an alarming rate.

Many babies who are born prematurely suffer breathing difficulties as their lungs are not developed.

In Canada, pre-term babies are given surfactant to treat the life-threatening condition.

“Without this, their breathing is compromised and they don’t survive,” said Sigh, lead physician at Primary Care Niagara in Niagara Falls.

Singh travelled to Zimbabwe last month to deliver 40 vials of surfactant to the hospital through Health Partners International of Canada, a relief and development organization dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world.

“Practically speaking, those vials are going to save 40 babies,” he said.

Singh, board chairman of HPIC.

“This is really addressing the needs of a vulnerable community,” he said.

“Everything went according to plan and now these babies will have a chance at life.”

The Zimbabwe trip was not his first time delivering health and hope to the developing world. The physician has previously donated his time to initiatives in Haiti and the Philippines.

“When you’re exposed to these needs, one can’t help but be compelled to respond,” he said.

“You find small incremental steps make a huge difference.”

Through HPIC, he added, each dollar donated provides at least $10 worth of medicines and medical supplies to the people who need it most.

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