3 Children with Congenital Heart Defects Undergo Surgery in Senegal

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Dr. Camanor (far left) head of the team with the kids at the Robert's International Airport.

Authorities at the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) in collaboration with La Chaîn de L’espoir (The Chain of Hope) has sponsored three children that were diagnosed of congenital heart defects to undergo surgery at the Cuomo Centre for Pediatric Cardiology in Darkar, Senegal, a release from the hospital has said.

La Chaîn de L’espoir (the Chain of Hope) is a French non-governmental organization, which is a network of excellence and expertise committed to providing access to child care for the poorest countries that do not have technical and human resources to treat them.

The three children, who are between the ages the of 1-3 years, are Marthaline Gborhn Dwan, Ronel Desire Saygar, and Famata Jackson.

According to the release, the children departed for Senegal on Saturday, October 13 for the life-saving medical heart procedures.

The kids were accompanied by their mothers on a team headed by JFK Pediatrician (children doctor) and JFK Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sia Wata Camanor.

The going of the children was made possible through cooperation between JFK and La Chaîn de l’Espoir.

Earlier, Dr. Camanor diagnosed the kids of heart defects, but since then, they have been treated and managed at the JFK children’s ward.

She said that with the help of the newly established Cuomo Centre for Pediatric Cardiology in Dakar, the kids will undergo ‘free open-heart surgery’ on Monday, October 22.

“The surgery is soft but takes a couple of hours, so we have to arrive sooner to do the proper examination to confirm diagnoses and also make sure the patients are fit for such surgery,” Dr. Camanor said.

She said that though the procedure is life-saving, it is a major treatment that involves risk and therefore needs proper care and attention.

According to Camanor, JFK has worked with different organizations, including the HeartGift of the United States that received five kids, while the institutions they worked with helped to provide services, but did not provide plane tickets and the visas.

Dr. Camanor said that because of the major challenges in the health sector, La Chaîn l’Espoir undertook an exploratory mission to Liberia and met with officials of the government, including the management of the JFK Medical Center to discuss the possibility to aid Liberian pediatric patients until the health sector is equipped to handle such cases.

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