New National Children’s Heart Trust launched

Niel Terblanche

Cardiac emergencies are extremely expensive which leaves many Namibians, especially parents with children that need urgent help in a desperate situation. To provide vital assistance, a very special trust has been set up.

Due to limited infrastructure and resources within the paediatric cardiac service in Namibia, patients are often referred to South Africa for medical interventions, such as surgeries, through public/private outsourcing agreements. This, however, has profound financial implications, as not all families are able to afford it.

The Namibia National Children’s Heart Trust was officially launched in Windhoek last Saturday. The Trust was founded to bridge the gap by acting as a conduit for receiving monetary and material donations to supplement the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The Capricorn Foundation, under its Health focus area, aims to support government and vulnerable communities by increasing access to basic healthcare. Consequently, the Capricorn Foundation has committed N$500 000 towards the Namibia National Children’s Heart Trust to support the new entity in its aim of achieving 150-200 transcatheter and surgical procedures per annum.

The Trust aims to ensure that Namibian patients born with congenital heart diseases are provided with affordable, accessible, and sustainable care locally.

“As Connectors of Positive Change and a responsible corporate citizen, the Capricorn Foundation believes in partnering with like-minded organizations to achieve sustainable development and greater impact, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Harambee Prosperity Plan”, said Marlize

Horn, Group Executive, the Brand and Corporate Affairs and Executive Officer of the Capricorn Foundation.

There is a high incidence and prevalence of CHD and other acquired heart diseases among children and adults in Namibia, collectively resulting in profound morbidity and premature mortality.

The Namibia National children’s Heart Trust indicated that the current numbers waiting for surgical interventions are more than 300, and many more for transcatheter interventions.

The newly created trust’s priority is to obtain high-resolution ultrasound machines, cardiopulmonary bypass circuit machines, catheterization laboratory anaesthetic machines, theatre consumables, ICU equipment, consumables, and medications to improve the lives of young patients.

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