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15 children treated under QRCS’s Little Hearts project in Indonesia
Qatar Red Crescent Society’s (QRCS) Little Hearts project is going on in Indonesia, in cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross Society (PMI) and Indonesia’s Ministry of Health (MOH). The $106,560 project is aimed at treating 40 children with congenital heart defects, including ventricular septal defects (VSD) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). It involves performing catheterizations at the National Cardiac Center Harapan Kita (NCCHK) in Jakarta. So far, 15 children ranging from one month to eight years of age have been operated on the heart. Three groups of 16 specialized doctors and consultants are engaged in the project, covering the specialties of pediatric cardiology, diagnostic non-invasive cardiology, and anesthesia. The COVID-19 pandemic limited the speed of NCCHK’s interventions. Prior to the interventions, COVID-19 screening process has to be finalized. The NCCHK put more effort to tighten the COVID-19 protocols, re-disinfected the areas, and conducted self-swab tests for both the patients and health workers in order to reduce the risks to COVID-19 around the hospital. At the inauguration ceremony, attended by NCCHK’s board members, PMI Secretary-General, and team members, the project was commended as rarely implemented in Indonesia, where the numbers of congenital heart diseases (CHD) are increasing. On average, nine out of 1,000 born-alive infants have CHD, with a total of 40,000 babies. Being the first Little Hearts project to be executed in Indonesia, it is part of the Medical Convoys program, which involves providing treatment for poor patients, performing surgeries in many medical specializations, supplying the host hospitals with surgical equipment and consumables, and training medical professionals in the latest medical advancements.