The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) announced Tuesday that its representation office in Afghanistan completed Phase 3 of the Little Hearts program in the country, performing 60 catheterizations for children with congenital heart defects. This was performed in co-operation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and Ministry of Health (MOH) in Kabul.

The project is aimed at treating children born with serious heart problems and holes, with a special focus on poor families that cannot afford the costs of treatment for their kids. The catheterizations are performed at hospitals and specialized centers qualified and equipped enough to host such operations. To complement the humanitarian effect of the project, gifts and toys are distributed to the children to boost their morale before and after the procedure.

ARCS has had a long-term program for this purpose, targeting partnerships and mobilizing resources to treat up to 7,000 children. Statistics show that one in every 100 children in Afghanistan is born with heart problems, which means 128,000 all over the country. Most of those do not receive adequate medical care due to poverty and lack of interventional services and resources.

Within its humanitarian mission and responsibility, QRCS contributed to the treatment of critical cases, at a total cost of $150,728, raised from the donations of charity payers in Qatar.

This is the third phase of the Little Hearts program in Afghanistan, to be followed by more phases under a cooperation agreement with ARCS, which is responsible for selecting and contracting the host hospitals and heart centers.

The actual launch of the project came after the completion of all the logistical and technical preparations and procedures, the completion of the verification process of the statements of the beneficiaries of the children, and the verification of the capabilities of the hospitals in which the operations would take place.
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