Health

June 18, 2024

HEART SURGERY: ‘Hospitals for Humanity’ vows to save 150 children yearly

HEART SURGERY: ‘Hospitals for Humanity’ vows to save 150 children yearly

By Juliet Umeh

In Nigeria, an estimated 85,000 children are born with congenital heart defects annually. Tragically, less than 0.001 percent receives the surgery they need.

To bridge this gap, Hospitals for Humanity (HfH), a dedicated non-profit, has pledged to save 150 children’s lives yearly through open-heart surgery.

HfH recently celebrated a decade of their “Saving Little Hearts” programme while fundraising for 150 Nigerian children requiring critical surgery. Their impact extends beyond these immediate procedures.

HfH also boasts over 130 successful open-heart surgeries performed and focuses on building the long-term capacity of local hospitals and medical personnel.

The CEO and Founder of HfH, Dr. Segun Ajayi, said the NGO has performed 16 paediatric cardiac catheterisation; screened over 1,500 Nigerian children for congenital heart defects and procured $6.5 million in medical supplies, medication and equipment.

He added that it has created five pediatric cardiovascular intensive care units, ICUs in Nigeria.

Speaking on the challenge of congenital heart defects in Nigeria, he said: “Hospitals for Humanity has a revolving list of over 1,000 patients from all over Nigeria. These children need these surgeries urgently and cannot afford to pay for treatment.

“We want to save at least 150 lives each year by performing free heart surgery on Nigerian children. We will significantly decrease health care barriers and create improved access to quality health care services through clinical medicine, training programmes for local medical professionals, research, advocacy and development.

‘We can’t do all of these alone, so we say a great big thank you to all our partners, sponsors, medical and non-medical volunteers and donors.”

Also, looking back at the last 10 years and looking forward to many more ahead, Executive Director, HfH,  Ms Myna Shegog, said: “Every time, we pour ourselves into this work and when we come back year after year, it is an honour to see the fruits of our labour as these children progress, grow and thrive.”

Speaking,  Founder, Linking Hands Foundation, LHF, and Chairperson, Hospitals for Humanity General Advisory Board, Mrs. Efe Farinre, said that it is highly commendable that through HfH, Nigerians in the diaspora and non-Nigerians are coming into the country to perform this life saving surgeries on children for free.

She added: “This is a clarion call for all of us to give the gift of a wholesome heart and the hope of a bright future to every child, by joining Hospitals for Humanity in Saving Little Hearts.”