The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has concluded its “Little Hearts” medical convoy to Bangladesh, implemented at a total cost of $250,000.
Over eight days, 116 cardiac catheterisations were performed for children with congenital heart defects, the QRCS said in a statement.
On the last day, a workshop was held at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Dhaka to assess the work done and to thank the medical personnel who contributed to the procedures.
Dignitaries gathered for a meeting
Over eight days, 116 cardiac catheterisations were performed for children with congenital heart defects
Ahmed bin Mohamed al-Dehaimi, Qatar's ambassador to Bangladesh, hosted the medical team from Qatar and Bangladesh, as well as leaders of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Qatar organisations operating in the country.
At the meeting, a presentation was provided on the achievements of the last medical convoy and the overall medical interventions in Bangladesh.
The meeting discussed the importance of these medical convoys for the children of Bangladesh and other poor countries.
The medical team thanked the ambassador and Qatar embassy staff facilitating the mission and making it a success.
Abdullah Hassan al-Mehshadi, general director of the Relief and International Development Division at the QRCS, said: “The medical mission was 100% successful, with the participation of seven physicians from the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Sidra Medicine, in addition to physicians from the US, Palestine and Jordan.
“This is the highest number of members to take part in a medical convoy with the QRCS, ever.
“This is the fourth medical convoy by the QRCS in Bangladesh under the 'Little Hearts' programme.”
“Since its launch in 2004, the programme has treated thousands of patients who could not afford the cost of treatment, whether locally or abroad,” al-Mehshadi said. “Some countries lack the medical resources to perform such procedures.
“These procedures address heart abnormalities in poor children born with holes in the heart, defected valves, etc.
“Catheters are used to insert the devices, buttons and stents. They are not surgical interventions like open heart surgeries.”
“According to statistics, this medical convoy has made an unprecedented number of 116 procedures over eight days, increasing from 104 procedures,” he added. “To show how effective these interventions are for the local community, you have to know that the NICVD performs an average of 200 cardiac catheterisations per year."
Al-Mehshadi commended the co-operation from the HMC and Sidra Medicine, which allowed their physicians to take part in the convoy.
“Some physicians are long-serving members of the 'Little Hearts' convoys. They have treated the ill hearts of young kids, who are now able to play and live normally like their peers,” he said.
“The QRCS will continue to deploy medical convoys under its strategy to improve the quality of healthcare services provided for vulnerable groups in poor communities.
“Despite all the efforts, the needs are by far beyond that. There are hundreds of ill children on the waiting list.
More and more medical convoys are yet to be secured, with funding from the generous donors of Qatar, to give a lifeline to the poor families whose children were afflicted with heart disorders since their birth,” he said.