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 Management of children with
congenital heart disease at AKUH

KARACHI: Pakistan shares a statistic with India, China and Indonesia: these four countries are home to half the children born with heart defects worldwide says a communication received from AKUH. In Pakistan, a child born with congenital heart disease (CHD), is now healthier and living longer. But survival depends on how severe the defect is, how quickly it is diagnosed and how well it is treated.

With most births taking place in rural communities, the number of babies born with heart defects is unclear an estimate suggests that more than 60,000 infants with a with congenital heart disease are born each year. About half of these young patients will have a critical CHD and require surgery to survive one year. The Aga Khan University Hospital has stepped in to assist these children and their families. Its Mending Kids’ Hearts campaign, now in its fourth year, offers help and hope to those without financial means by covering the cost of quality surgical and medical care of children needing hospital procedures.

Since the launch of the campaign in 2016, over 1,800 Paediatric patients have undergone cardiac procedures at the University Hospital - a majority of whom received financial assistance of nearly PKR 400 million. To expand the reach of the Mending Kids’ Hearts campaign, this year AKUH is targeting 300,000 individuals through a camp in collaboration with Aga Khan Maternal and Childcare Centre, Hyderabad. The aim of the camp is to treat children who are overlooked by the health system, and to ensure that they get diagnosed and treated at the University Hospital in time.(PR)