‘One in every 120 children born with a heart defect’

December 08, 2014 08:03 am | Updated 08:03 am IST - KOCHI

Approximately one in every 120 children is born with a heart defect. This translates into approximately 2,50,000 children being born with heart defects each year in India. Such a challenge has prompted Paris-based international charity organisation Heart Fund look at India to help children suffering from heart diseases.

A year of work has resulted in the collaboration with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), said Dr. David Luu, president of the Heart Fund, heart surgeon and director of Heart Health Programme at NYC Surgical in New York, at a press meet here recently.

The Heart Fund has provided free life-saving open-heart surgeries and endovascular treatments to 20 children. AIMS is the only medical facility in India where the Heart Fund has a collaboration, said Dr. Luu.

Helping Heart Fund in its charitable cause are American actor Gary Dourdan – known for portraying Warrick Brown in the television series CSI and international supermodel Alina Baikova, who are the brand ambassadors to raise awareness on cardiovascular diseases and fund to finance children’s surgeries.

“I have learned a lot over the last two years I have been associated with it,” said Mr. Dourdan in an interaction with the media. Alina Baikova said that she uses social media a lot to spread awareness on the disease.

The team visiting Kochi had been around for five days and had been updating their experience on the Heart Fund website.

An agreement signed by AIMS and the Heart Fund would facilitate long-term assistance for free heart surgery for children, educational and scientific exchanges, help create global awareness on cardio-vascular diseases in India and upgrade technical facilities to develop a heart transplant programme such as Heart and Lung Machine or Ventricular Assistance Device.

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