NGO Tiny Hearts of Maldives has claimed there is a strong increase in the number of families seeking consultations with child cardiac specialists volunteering at a healthcare camp it has been running annually since 2010.
During the second day of the Care for Tiny Hearts 2013 camp, which is set to conclude tomorrow (March 26), the NGO has claimed it will be hosting consultations and workshops with specialists from the Maldives and India to try and fill a gap in local healthcare concerning Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). Some 300 patients are currently said to be registered with Tiny Hearts.
Healthcare volunteers from India, a cardiac specialist from Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ and a local surgeon are said to be involved in this year’s program, which includes a workshop on trying to identify serious conditions at a foetal stage, according to local media.
A spokesperson for the charity today told Minivan News that a limited number of cardiac specialists practising in the Maldives had meant there remained a narrow opportunity for screening and supporting children at risk from CHD.
In addressing perceived challenges affecting its work, Tiny Hearts of Maldives claimed that it was experiencing difficulties common to many welfare and health groups across the country – namely in the limited resources available to Maldivians seeking specialist care.
As an example of these challenges, the spokesperson pointed to the importance of the Indian healthcare system in ensuring Maldivians were presently able to receive more specialist treatment in areas such as congenital illness.
However, the NGO spokesperson said that Tiny Heart’s biggest challenge remained in spreading awareness among the public about congenital disease of all kinds, as well as informing others on how and where they can seek support.
“Every individual can make a difference by spending a few minutes to share information with others on congenital illnesses,” the spokesperson added.
Tiny Hearts, which was formed back in 2009 to help local children suffering with CHD, has been at the centre of a number of high-profile awareness schemes and special fund-raisers in the Maldives in recent years.