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Health News of Saturday, 21 January 2023

Source: Koku Agbenaza, Contributor

Hole in heart children in Ghana: Chinese heart foundation comes to the rescue

Some mothers with their children who are suffering from hole in heart, and the donors Some mothers with their children who are suffering from hole in heart, and the donors

A Chinese charity foundation, the Shen Yang & Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation, has agreed and announced its decision to pay for the high cost of treating some children in Ghana with a hole in heart disease for the next 10 years.

The average cost of surgery between 6,000 to 13,000 USD per patient will be paid for by the foundation annually for the next ten years.

The Chinese charity foundation is named after 17-year-old Shen Yang, himself a hole-in-heart survivor and son of Chinese investor Shen Yan Chang, the founder and chairman of the SUNDA & KEDA International Group of Companies.

This charity initiative for hole-in-heart children in Ghana was advocated by Herbert Mensah, former Asante Kotoko chairman and president of the May 9 Foundation, who himself has been personally involved in raising funds for the treatment of such children and other needy people in Ghana over the years through his May 9 charity Foundation.

According to Herbert Mensah, his aim is to bring relief, through multiple streams of donations, to the multitudes of children and their poor families who hitherto could not afford the high cost of treating the hole in heart disease at the national cardiothoracic centre at the Korle Bu teaching hospital.

The Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation signed an agreement with the Cardiothoracic Centre in Korle Bu, pledging to support 25 beneficiaries of the hole-in-heart treatment each year. These beneficiaries will be selected from needy applicants to the foundation.

Dr. Kow Entsua-Mensah, a consultant at the National Cardiothoracic Centre said one child out of 100 births in Ghana has a heart or chest condition with smoking, excessive drinking, prolonged exposure to X-rays and poor eating habits by pregnant women named as some of the causes of heart and chest conditions in children. The taking of drugs without prescription and the failure of some expectant mothers to attend antenatal care are the other causes.

Chief executive officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah welcomed the generous initiative of Shen Yang & Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation and their associated SUNDA & KEDA International Group of Companies in Ghana saying, it came at an important period to the centre and to poor families because it had become even more difficult during the recent depreciation of the Ghana cedi because the cost of equipment for treating the disease is often quoted in USD.

The SUNDA & KEDA International Group of Companies have been operating in Ghana for the last 20 years and directly employ over 7 thousand Ghanaians. They’re leading manufacturers and distributors of household consumable products such as ceramics, hardware accessories, daily cleaning and personal care products, diapers and many others.

This latest charity initiative adds to a long list of corporate & socially responsible actions in their areas of operations. They have in the past supported families of victims of the Accra sports stadium disaster, gas explosion and flood victims, disabled groups and many others in Ghana.