On the occasion of Congenital Heart Awareness week, VinaCapital Foundation invites you to learn more about the diseases that threaten the lives of over 10,000 infants every year.

Heartbeat Vietnam is the grassroots program of the VinaCapital Foundation since 2006. As of today, we’ve supported over 7,600 life-saving heart surgeries for poor children all over Vietnam and provided free heart examinations for nearly 200,000 children. We’re heading toward the milestone of saving 8,000 hearts this April.

What are congenital heart defects?

Congenital heart defects are heart structure malformations. It is the most common type of birth defect that a little less than 1% of all children are born with. There are many types of CHDs ranging from mild such as a small hole in the heart to severe such as missing or inadequately formed parts of the heart. CHDs affect blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. Babies with CHDs have less chance to grow up healthily.

What is the number of children with CHDs in Vietnam?

On average, 10,000 infants are born with CHDs in Vietnam every year. 75% of those babies will need medical intervention to prevent complications in life. Unfortunately, a large number of infants with CHDs live in rural areas with limited access to early diagnosis. Therefore, VCF organizes mobile outreach clinics in the remotest province and offers free heart examinations for children. Those outreach clinics help to find out children with CHDs and support them with medical care as early as possible.

What is the cause of CHDs in children?

The cause of CHDs among babies is unknown. However, genes and other factors such as environment, the mother’s diet, the mother’s health condition, or the mother’s medication use during pregnancy, can link with babies’ heart defects. We recommend against poor nutrition, use of drugs or alcohol and or cigarette smoking during pregnancy to ensure that other complications are not introduced that will make the CHDS repair more difficult.

What are the treatments for CHDs?

Treatment for CHDs depends on the type and severity of the defect present. Some affected infants and children might need one or more surgeries to repair the heart or blood vessels. Some can be treated without surgery using a procedure called cardiac catheterization. Sometimes the heart defect cannot be fully repaired, but these procedures can improve blood flow and the way the heart works. Nowadays, with advanced equipment and qualified cardiologists, babies with CHDs have more chances to survive and live healthy life.

How can I join hands in helping children with CHDs in Vietnam?

We are asking you to help us raise awareness that not every child with a heart condition can have a cure but that every child can reach their full potential if they get the support they deserve. Even if your gifts are big or small, you can be the hero of a child, a mother, a family, or even a village! There is no limitation in the way you contribute. You can start by:

  • Donating to VCF’s programs through our website
  • Creating your fundraising campaigns on our website
  • Donating for Heartbeat Vietnam via our partners’ platforms: MoMo’s Golden Pig feature and California Fitness & Yoga Center’s donation boxes.
  • Following our websites, Facebook, and YouTube for frequent updates.

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