One week after the beginning of the 'Little Hearts' program, which is being conducted by Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan, 21 children have undergone cardiac catheterizations at the Amiri Medical Complex, with a 100% success rate.
First, the registered kids come with their parents to the hospital in Kabul, where they are examined to verify the diagnosis and prepare them for the procedure. Then, cardiac catheterizations are performed under general anesthesia. The physicians use ultrasonography to the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
Following the operation, the kids are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) to avoid unexpected complications. After 24 hours, they are released from hospital, with a follow-up and recovery plan.
As a form of psychological support, QRCS's mission in Afghanistan distribute gifts and toys to the children, signaling a new life of health and growth.
The project is the culmination of joint efforts by the personnel of QRCS and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS). Together, they worked to select the beneficiaries, procure the medical supplies, check the adequacy of hospital and equipment, pay for the travel costs for poor families from remote provinces to Kabul, and offer giveaways to the kids leaving the hospital.
Several years ago, Sheer Mohamed had come from Sar-e Pol Province to Kabul to register his daughter Bahara (6) with ARCS. He was told he would be contacted when a sponsored operation for the girl is available.
"I am very lucky now with this favor granted by QRCS," said Mr. Mohamed. "Without it, I would have been waiting for more and more years". He asked God to bless QRCS for its contribution, as he was too poor to afford the operation.
Rouh-ullah, father of Arzu (6), said he was extremely happy with QRCS's initiative. He wished it the best and commended the care and politeness of the hospital's doctors and nurses. He also thanked ARCS for their help.
Hossam Habib, Director of International Relations at ARCS, stated, "We are really grateful to QRCS for standing by the Afghan people. This is a true form of the cooperation in good deeds preached by the Islamic religion. Also, I'd like to thank our staff and the doctors for making this noble work possible".
Lasting for a few more days, the 'Little Hearts' project is planned to cover 45 children, with an overall budget of $151,000, raised from the donations of benevolent people in Qatar.
Similar projects had been undertaken in seven countries(Sudan, Syria, Mauritania, Gaza, Morocco, Jordan, and Bangladesh), treating around 500 destitute kids.