Afghanistan

QRCS treats 60 Afghan children with congenital heart defects [EN/AR]

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September 22nd, 2020 ― Doha: The representation office of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan has completed Phase 3 of the Little Hearts program in the country, performing 60 catheterizations for children with congenital heart defects.

In cooperation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and Ministry of Health (MOH), the operations were performed at the Amiri Medical Complex and Global Hospital in Kabul.

The project is aimed at treating children born with serious heart problems and holes, with a special focus on poor families that cannot afford the costs of treatment for their kids. The catheterizations are performed at hospitals and specialized centers qualified and equipped enough to host such operations.

To complement the humanitarian effect of the project, gifts and toys are distributed to the children to boost their morale before and after the procedure.

ARCS has had a long-term program for this purpose, targeting partnerships and mobilizing resources to treat up to 7,000 children. Statistics show that one in every 100 children in Afghanistan is born with heart problems, which means 128,000 all over the country. Most of those do not receive adequate medical care due to poverty and lack of interventional services and resources.

Within its humanitarian mission and responsibility, QRCS contributed to the treatment of critical cases, at a total cost of $150,728, raised from the donations of charity payers in Qatar.

This is the third phase of the Little Hearts program in Afghanistan, to be followed by more phases under a cooperation agreement with ARCS, which is responsible for selecting and contracting the host hospitals and heart centers.

Yar Mohamed, from Parwan Province, is the father of a 13-year-old patient. He is a day laborer with too low income. One week ago, they were informed about the date of the operation for their daughter. “We are so happy,” he said. “We are grateful to the people of Qatar for helping us. Thank you QRCS for arranging for such operations for our kids”.

The mother of Wazir Awam (9), a resident of Khost Province, said her daughter was on the ARCS’s waiting list, just to be contacted last week to set the date for the operation. She deeply thanked QRCS and Qatar for sponsoring the operation, which would help the young girl to resume her normal life.

The same happened with Hekmatullah Qudratullah (7), from Herat Province, whose father works as a driver, but the money he earns is not enough to feed his family. The son had an ill heart, and they have been looking for treatment, but to no avail. One year ago, he had his son registered with ARCS. Last week, he received a notification that an operation had been arranged for his son free of charge. He happily thanked QRCS and Qatar for saving his son’s life.

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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)

Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.

QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.

QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.

QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.