[www.inewsguyana.com] – Six of the 18 children who were set to benefit from heart surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), through support from International Children’s Heart Foundation (Baby Heart) have successfully completed their surgeries and are recovering.
Two of the six children have already been sent home and eight are expected to undergo surgeries in the new week. The Baby Heart Foundation is a non-profit organisation that travels around the world to assist in paediatric cardiac surgeries and at the same time train local health practitioners in this regard.
During an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Dr. Rodrigo Soto, Chief Executive Officer of Baby Heart Foundation said that the experience has been fantastic thus far, and expressed gratitude to the Government of Guyana for allowing the organisation to develop its programme here.
“Certainly a lot of work has been done… consequence of all the work that has been done for the past four years from the cardiology point of view, now being able to come here and operate on the patients here in Guyana and the most important is to train the doctors in order to do this,” Dr Soto explained.
A special Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was also refurbished at the GPHC to facilitate post-surgery care for the children, and Baby Heart Foundation donated some equipment for the unit.
Meanwhile, Director of the Echocardiography Education Programme at the GPHC, Dr. Debra Isaac said that when the programme first started it was realised that children accounted for almost 40% of the heart ultrasounds that were done, and many required surgery. Unfortunately, only a few had access to surgical interventions, and a few were sent to other countries.
Dr Isaac noted that those children who were sent abroad for surgeries did not benefit from proper follow-up care. However, with the help of the Health Ministry and Dr Marissa Seepersaud, paediatric surgeon at the GPHC, a Guyana Paediatric Steering Committee was established with the aim of identifying children that need surgery and those that were already operated upon, and institute screening for others.
Through this programme, Dr Isaac noted that the Baby Heart team came in and those children were looked at. The Foundation has been around for over 20 years and has successfully completed 7,500 surgeries in 32 countries.
The team will be visiting Guyana in July for another few weeks to conduct more surgeries.