QRCS's "Little Hearts" Program Treats 13 Children with Ill Hearts in Afghanistan [EN/AR]

from Qatar Red Crescent Society
Published on 11 Oct 2018

October 11th, 2018 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched its 'Little Hearts' program, with a plan to treat 45 children with congenital heart defects in Afghanistan.

At a total cost of $151,000, the kids will undergo cardiac catheterization procedures at the Amiri Medical Complex in Kabul. The 8-day program is coordinated with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and Afghanistan's Ministry of Health.

Over the past three days, a total of 13 successful catheterization operations were performed.
Once the patients complete their post-procedure follow-up and are ready to leave the hospital, they receive gifts and toys from QRCS, in an attempt to put a smile on their faces and help them forget the bad memories of illness.

Cardiovascular disorders are the world's top cause of death, with congenital heart abnormalities being the commonest, occurring in 1 out of 100 children. Most of those children cannot receive medical care due to poverty, lack of medical facilities, or unavailable specialists.

Government reports in Afghanistan indicate that 128,000 children are born with heart defects countryside.

In view of the large number of patients, who belong largely to poor families, QRCS is planning to launch other phases of the program, pending the availability of funding and well-equipped health facilities.
One of the beneficiaries is Halima (4), who had had a hole in the heart since her birth. She came with her father, Gholam Farouk, from Badakhshan Province, when they were told by ARCS's personnel about QRCS's medical project in Kabul. The father welcomed this long-awaited opportunity, expressing heartfelt gratitude for this contribution by QRCS and the State of Qatar.

Nour Taba stood beside her niece, Aroma (1), whose sister, Razi Khan (8), was being carried by their father, Abdul-Gahffar (60). Both girls came from Jowzjan Province to treat their hearts from some issues.

The aunt was so happy that the sisters were admitted to hospital with no charges or fees. "We are too poor, and even the money we borrowed to cover the travel costs is over," she said. "I ask Allah to bless the brothers in QRCS for enabling our daughters to receive medical treatment for free. I wish them a quick recovery".

Dr. Mir Wais Akram, Vice and Acting President of ARCS, appreciated the efforts of QRCS's mission in Afghanistan, as well as the host hospital, for offering this highly demanding service locally, thus saving the patients a big burden of travelling abroad for treatment. "Ten years ago, this was not possible in Afghanistan," he commented.

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 190 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