Poor kids receive gratis heart operation

3,000 kids in low-income families in districts Bac Me, Meo Vac and Dong Van of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang received free cardiovascular examination in the program “Heart for kids”, said military-run Vietnamese mobile network operator Viettel yesterday.

Under the program, 3,000 children in three districts of Ha Giang Province had free heart check-up. Of them, 20 were discovered to suffer congenital heart diseases and 18 of them would undertake an operation.

The program also encouraged benefactors to give 3,000 gifts including dairy products, confectionaries and shawls for kids.

For years, the program has provided gratis diagnosis of heart problems to children in low-income families. Viettel in coordination with the Vietnam Television and big hospitals help poor children nationwide in heart operations. 

From 2011, 20,000 kids received free heart check-up and 500 of them were detected to have heart problems. Most of them have had free-of-charge heart operation later.

Heart attack is regarded as a disease of the rich, since the poor are unable to pay VND60 million (US$ 2,682) or more for an operation.

Every year more than 16,440 Vietnamese children are affected by congenital heart attacks, many of whom could survive with heart surgery. However, because of the high cost for an operation patients of families in rural areas are not likely to have a chance for a cure.

As a result, for hundreds of Vietnamese children who have not been able to afford the surgery pass away everyday.

By staff writer - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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