Congenital Heart Disease in Gaza
Congenital heart disease is a collection of congenital heart defects that are present at birth. These heart defects can involve various different parts of the heart, such as the arteries and veins, the walls, and the valves, which ultimately results in the disruption of normal blood flow through the heart. This can lead to dangerous situations, with some of the warning signs being fatigue, rapid breathing, poor blood circulation, and cyanosis, which is a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails shortly after birth.
For many children with congenital heart defects, there are often no symptoms or warning signs and they are not diagnosed with the condition until later in life. Many children with congenital heart defects require no treatment, but some others do. Treatment can involve anything from taking medicine, catheter procedures, surgery, and even heart transplants.
In Gaza, many children are born with medical conditions like congenital heart disease. In 2010 alone, congenital heart disease was detected in 598 of the 59,757 children born in Gaza that year, which demonstrates a birth incidence of 10 per 1,000 live births. In comparison, Western Europe has an estimated congenital heart disease birth incidence of 8.2 per 1,000 live births, and North America has 6.9 per 1,000 live births. This reveals that children born in Gaza are more likely to be diagnosed with congenital heart disease than other children around the world. However, due to the limited resources within Gaza and difficulty accessing the area, some children are unable to get the crucial medical help they require.
To help with congenital heart disease in Gaza, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) has created a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program in Gaza. This initiative helps to detect congenital heart disease, provide treatment, and perform surgeries for Palestinian children. Our humanitarian work has never been more important or time-sensitive due to the recent violence in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
PCRF is a nonpolitical, nonreligious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families suffering from this crisis. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!