By International Community Foundation
A multi-sector collaboration is getting to the heart of the matter. For the past five years local Baja California Sur (BCS) nonprofits Corazon del Niño and Amigos de los Niños have joined forces with state-of-the-art H+ Hospital to run a campaign known as “Unidos de Corazón,” which diagnoses and treats cases of congenital heart defects in children from throughout the state.
This incredible initiative has already provided life-saving treatments to 70 children, addressing a serious backlog to addressing these conditions in BCS. Evidence shows that when a child with a heart defect grows up without treatment, their conditions gets more complicated until reaching a point when it is not possible to correct, and early death becomes inevitable. Thus making it critical to get to these patients as early as possible.
In order to identify suspected cases, a questionnaire is distributed to families of primary school children in all major cities across the state. Then a team made up of pediatricians, nurses, and program staff go on a “heart journey” to evaluate the children with a suspected problem and determine who requires further diagnosis. Next, a team of specialists in pediatric cardiology ultrasound diagnosis visit to complete the process. These teams consist of some of the best pediatric cardiologists in Mexico, many from the National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico City, offering pro bono services.
Patients identified in the “heart journey” are scheduled for open heart surgery, catheterization or ablation procedures in the final stage of the program, a heart clinic held at H+ Hospital in Los Cabos. The hospital provides qualified medical staff, advanced technology, operating rooms, and hospital rooms free of charge to the patients (equivalent to $133,000)! Corazón de Niño commits to $55,000 for each clinic to cover operating expenses, physicians’ travel, and food and lodging for the families of the patients. Amigos de los Niños covers $45,000 of the cost for medical devices and surgical supplies.
This year Unidos de Corazon will carry out its 5th clinic, and expects to provide highly specialized cardiac treatments to 20 additional patients. To ensure the success of this program, donations can be made to the Give+ Campaign, a fund at the International Community Foundation: https://donate.icfdn.org/npo/give
To learn more about this important initiative, please contact Alana Ortez, ICF’s Senior Program Officer for Health: email@example.com.