Because many heart defects cannot be detected by the human eye, all children need to have a heart check-up at least once in their lives. Early detection ensures no one will pass away from an undiagnosed defect. Many children grew up with unhealthy hearts and families remain unaware of it. Nguyen Van Duong’s story is a typical case of an undiagnosed heart defect. Living in Tri Ton, An Giang for years without treatment resulted in serious damage to his health. Due to his family’s poverty, it was only at 18 years old that Duong had a heart check-up and discovered that he had many complicated defects. Heartbeat Vietnam immediately agreed to support his emergency surgery at Ho Chi Minh City’s University Medical Center. Duong will need a lot of time and special care from doctors to recover. If Duong’s defects had been discovered early, he would not have suffered so many long-lasting injuries.
Every year in Vietnam, 16,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects. Half need immediate treatment. However, many children like Duong grew up with an unhealthy heart and did not seek medical attention.
Most of these children live in remote areas of Vietnam. Their families earn the equivalent of a few U.S. dollars per day. Healthcare for their children is a luxury. Travel and check-up costs add up fast.
Understanding their hardship, VinaCapital Foundation’s Outreach Clinics, together with prestigious hospitals, organize more than 70 visits per year to rural districts across the country. The goal of our Outreach Clinics is for all children to receive heart check-ups and consultations regardless of location and economic status.
What is a congenital heart defect and why should every child have a heart check-up?
A congenital heart defect is a cardiovascular structural defect that exists from birth. A screening and a treatment plan are necessary so children can have healthy hearts.
There are many types of heart defects with various degrees of severity. There are also manifestations that are undetectable to the human eye. The only way to detect a congenital defect is through echocardiography. Based on the severity of the defect, doctors will offer appropriate treatment options.
Due to advancements in Vietnamese cardiology, many types of heart defects can be treated almost completely. Children can recover and can enjoy a normal, healthy childhood. In big cities, having a heart sonogram is easy. Mothers can know their children’s heart health from the 18th week of pregnancy. For parents living in rural areas, please take all of your children to heart check-up programs organized by hospitals and social organizations like VinaCapital Foundation’s Outreach Clinics.
Parents can feel more at ease knowing their child does not have a heart defect. For underprivileged children who are diagnosed with a heart defect, Heartbeat Vietnam will put them on a follow-up list and fund treatment. How do I know when there is an Outreach Clinic in my local area? Before every program, we inform the community through Information from the Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs. Heartbeat Vietnam and VinaCapital Foundation’s Facebook posts. Parents, please take this information to heart and bring your children to the program. Even if there are no observable symptoms now, the longer you wait, the more severe a heart defect can become. Doctors can cure your child’s illness before it becomes life-threatening. You should not miss this chance for your child to receive medical care.
For more supporting information: http://bit.ly/parenthandbookvcf
VinaCapital Foundation and MoMo Piggybank Community bring clean water to 500 ethnic minority children in Lai Chau province
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