The demand for treatment for congenital heart disease is on the rise in South Africa. More than 500 children are awaiting medical attention just at the provincial hospital in Gqeberha.
However, there is hope for their plight as the Pelo Foundation is working around the clock to raise awareness around the plight of the children on the waiting list and get them in theatres.
The foundation was established in June 2021 and has thus far, with the help of their partners, facilitated 11 surgeries already.
Parents of children who have already received treatment are happy to have their children back.
The foundation’s aim is to restore hope.
The children faced a potentially fatal condition, but now they are free of this constraint. This is a huge relief felt by the parents and families of these youths.
Initiative to raise funds for children with congenital heart disease
However, the waiting list to achieve this feeling is getting longer and longer.
The surgery is a scary process for young patients.
However, they say they are relieved to have energy again.
“Before the surgery, I was getting tired and I wasn’t feeling good. It was really not a nice feeling to get tired all the time,” says one of the young patients.
“I’m feeling better now but before surgery, I was feeling very scared, explain one of the children’s beneficiaries,” says another patient.
Manager at the Pelo Foundation Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane says that they are expanding their network and are fully aware of the long road ahead.
“Out of these 500 and more kids, we were able to assist at least 11. The last one is coming out of surgery today and he is well. He will be able to fly back home,” explains Leshabane.
Statistical data indicates that more than 90% of children born with congenital abnormalities in 2010 lived in rural areas. But even more sombre is that up to 20% of children with the abnormalities will not grow old without medical intervention.