Project Palav hosts Nov. 18 Bollywood Express benefit for babies with weak lungs

November 08, 2017

Dance, dine and make a difference at “Bollywood Express,” a fundraiser for Pioneer Medical Research Foundation’s Project Palav, a Michigan and India-based charity dedicated to saving babies with weak lungs in India, Ghana, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 18 at Novi High School, 24062 Taft Rd., Novi. The evening will include Bollywood music from renowned group D Octaves, dinner and a live deejay. Tickets range from $20 per person or $60 for a family four pack, to $100 per person for front row seating. They are available at or by phone at 732-710-1624.

Project Palav and the Pioneer Medical Research Foundation were co-founded by Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Nitin Chouthai, M.B.B.S., D.C.H., F.A.A.P., associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine. He is also managing director and chief executive officer of the charity. Its mission is to combat neonatal respiratory illness by providing the fundamental medical necessities to international clinics that serve an underprivileged and ill-equipped population, including breathing support equipment, training for health care providers, rural and tribal health care center upgrades and safe transportation for patients.

In 1990, the World Health Organization’s Millennium Development Goals were established to improve health care outcomes. Today, there remains a high rate of neonatal mortality in rural regions of developing countries, specifically 30 out of every 1,000 live births, Dr. Chouthai said, and statistics demonstrate the loss of one baby per minute in developing countries due to weak lungs.

“A significant number of neonates require expensive emergency postpartum care that cannot be facilitated by ill-equipped facilities and inexperienced health care providers. Often, transport systems to advanced care are unorganized, unsafe, and do not provide critical en-route care. More than 75 percent of neonates transported in this manner are hypothermic, cyanotic, hypoglycemic and thus vulnerable to severe clinical complications,” Dr. Chouthai said. “Thus, parents are left with a choice: financial burden and a potential recovery depending on resources or the future of their child in the hands of fate rather than science. “

Over the last 20 months, Project Palav’s efforts have helped to decrease mortality rate from 65 percent to 18 percent in rural Maharashtra by supplying and refurbishing used equipment, work recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In the last five years, the foundation has successfully integrated and implemented high-end technology such as Therapeutic Hypothermia for newborns with birth asphyxia in India at level three neonatal intensive care units, humidified high flow nasal cannula in rural health care centers, provided ventilators for newborns with respiratory distress, and trained doctors, nurses and midwives in rural areas of India and Africa.

Pioneer Medical Research Foundation and its Project Palav have previously been to the Bill Gates Foundation, USAID, and BIRAC All Children’s Thriving Seed Grant 2015 final round in July of 2015 for the development of a neonatal transport system. Since then, Dr. Chouthai, the principal investigator for the project, was nominated to lead and represent the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University for the Coalition of Centers for Global Child Health. Pioneer is currently in the second round of the 2017 cycle for the Bill Gates & USAID Seed Grant Challenge.

For more information, including volunteer and donation opportunities, contact