Ronald Mcdonald House Charities Launches Its India Chapter

Kiran and Raghav of Durgapur haven’t felt a sense of normalcy in their lives since their 5-year-old daughter Rupa was diagnosed with Leukaemia, last year. But with the launch of the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Hematology & Oncology Department of BJ Wadia Hospital for Children, they will find a place to rest during their daughter’s frequent hospital visits.

Believing that every child deserves a safe and supportive place to grow, RMHC® India’s mission is to create and support programs ronald-mcdonald-house-charitiesthat directly improve the health and well-being of children in the community. RMHC India partnered with BJ Wadia Hospital for Children to develop the Family Room Program, a family-friendly respite area located on the ground floor of the hospital in Mumbai. With this, Wadia Hospital and RMHC India embarked on a new journey with an aim to bring smile, hope, love and joy to every family that walks into the premise.

In India there is a lack of quality infrastructure and limited access to advanced medical treatments to over 70% of India’s population living in the semi urban and rural areas. Not every community has a children’s hospital which forces families to travel to metro cities like Mumbai to find the best care for their child.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room will provide a fresh space and a quiet retreat for families where they will be able to unwind and combat anxiety, depression and stress, which, according to studies, are prevalent shortly after a child’s admission to the hospital. Through this program, RMHC India aims to touch the lives of over 25,000 families, annually, by offering comfort and convenience for parents who often have to travel back and forth to the hospital; keeping them close and helping their ailing child heal and cope better.

The new state-of-the-art OPD is spread across an area of 2500 sq.ft and is refurbished and reimaged to manage smooth inflow and outflow of patients with a capacity expansion from 11 to 19 bedded Paediatric Hematology-Oncology.

Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd., a Master Franchise for McDonald’s in West & South India funded and helped refurbish the OPD facility at the Hospital and build the first Ronald McDonald Family Room (RMFR) which will offer a lounge area with comfortable sofas, flat-screen televisions, desktops with internet access, a play and activity area for children and clean bathrooms.

The generosity of Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd, Cargill India and Vista Processed Foods Pvt Ltd (an OSI group company) will enable RMHC India to offer hot beverages like tea and coffee, clean drinking water and appliances and electronics to the families of the patients.

RMHC is the world’s leading NGO supporting the accommodation needs of families with children receiving treatment at a hospital. The RMFR has equipped the Haematology-Oncology department with new infrastructure and built-in capabilities at the daycare ward which will eliminate the overnight stay or hospitalization of approximately 5,000 – 6,000 children who are undergoing critical blood transfusion or chemotherapy treatment.

Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children is India’s first, one of the largest and best known hospitals for Paediatric care in India since 1929 which provides treatments and care to underprivileged children of society. A teaching hospital of world-wide repute, this 300 bed hospital is propelled by a highly accomplished team of over 100 paediatric specialists.

The RMFR will be staffed with a RMHC India employee, as well as volunteers and will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM through Monday – Saturday. The services will be provided at no cost to families of children being cared for at the department.

Commenting at the opening, Smita Jatia, Chairwoman, RMHC India said, “When a family is faced with the overwhelming stress of a child in the hospital, it’s not just the child that needs strength. While doctors and nurses are busy caring for the child, many times there isn’t anyone caring for the family. 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.”

Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital & B J Wadia Hospital for Children said, “Over 50% of the children treated at the Haematology-Oncology department travel from remote and rural areas in India due to lack of healthcare facilities. Research shows that a family’s presence helps children heal faster and cope better. Having a Ronald McDonald Family Room can be an important part of the healing process and will provide a positive and calming experience for patients and their families.

We are delighted to be associated with Ronald McDonald House Charities Foundation India (RMHC India), to facilitate compassionate care and comprehensive treatment to children and their families under one roof. In my 30 years of experience, I feel privileged that with the launch of Ronald McDonald House Charities Foundation India (RMHC India), we have an opportunity to achieve the highest standards of healthcare for children and their families.”

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