Above 5,000 Afghan children with VSD need treatment
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan Red Crescent Society says some 5,000 children with a hole in the heart have been treated during the past six years, but more than 5000 children with the birth defect need treatment.
The society spokesperson, Miram Sadaqat, told Pajhwok Afghan News her organization had diagnosed and registered more than 10,000 children having ventricular septal defects (VSDs) during the past six years.
Of them, 5000 had received free treatment funded by the Red Crescent Society and most of them received treatment in foreign countries, mostly in India, she said.
“Every day, three to four children having VSD are brought to us and we accept 1000 children for treatment each year, but sometimes the figures are reduced to 900 and 850 due to lack of budget, resources and capacity of hospitals.”
She said each year the society spent three million afghanis on treatment of such children, with one million afs being provided by the government and the two million earned through the ARCS Isaar lottery programme.
She said most of the ailing children were aged below 12 years. The treatment cost of each child, if not seriously ill, stood at $2500 and the treatment of seriously ill children was being done abroad at a cost of $4000 each.
Public Health Ministry official Qamruddin Sediqi confirmed the figures provided by the ARCS spokesperson and there was no problem in treating children with a hole in the heart inside Afghanistan, but currently only two hospitals --- the France-run hospital and Amiri hospital --- had the facility to treat such children. He said the treatment of VSD children would be launched in the Aryana hospital in Kabul soon.
He said the public health ministry had no role in the treatment costs of such children, but the ministry was playing its role spreading awareness among people.
In Kabul, Children Hospital’s cardiology ward in-charge Dr. Mohammad Aslam said VSD cases were not on the increase in Afghanistan, but it were facilities and awareness among people that the defect was diagnosed among children.
“It is a birth defect. A child develops the defect before birth so it cannot be prevented, but by observing some precautions, mothers can somehow prevent the defect in children before birth.”
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