The key problem with Congenital Heart Disease in Nigeria are those of poor identification and presentation, some of which is attributed to lack of information and low literacy level. The impact of this in Congenital Heart Disease or Defect is that the heart continues to overworks while it fails and complications e.g heart failure and pulmonary hypertension sets in. The presence of complications and comorbidities reduces the chances of making it through surgery or post operatively. This sets us on a project titled “Operation Search and Rescue CHD Nigeria”
A project which uses 5 “s” Search, Suspect, Screen, Save and Support to rescue CHD warriors.
Pulse Oximetry for Newborns talks about the first 3 "s" search, support and screen.
Pulse oximetry test is a simple bed side and primary diagnostic test that uses a machine called Pulse oximeter to check oxygen saturation of newborns and at the same time screen for Critical Congenital Heart Disease.
In September 2011, the United States Secretary of health recommended Pulse Oximeter Screening (POS) before discharge should be added to the universal newborn screening for all children born in U.S. Many other developed countries like Canada have adapted to this while most developing countries are yet to.
Dr. Liesl Zuhlke of the university of Cape town in South Africa Heart Journal buttressed the need for developing countries to adopt neonatal pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart disease. https://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/SAHJ
At ChdfNigeria, we recognize the need now than ever to impact our country as we join other world to include POS into the existing newborn assessment/ screening in Nigeria.
The goal of this project is to distribute at least 10 durable pulse oximeters to the 36 states in the country(over the next 24months) train grassroot health care workers on its use and data collection, as well as support children who failed the test (have signs and symptoms consistent with CCHD).
As at January 2021, a durable pulse oximeter oximeter cost two hundred dollars (Amazon) Distributing at least 10 of this machines to the 36 states cost about Seventy two thousand dollars. Logistics, training of staff, data collection, follow up app development cost about 5 million naira.
To support this project, cash donations or durable pulse oximeters (please do check the resources column of our website to check pictures and download document of what our specificationsworld
Warriors support for Open Heart Surgery (the other 2 "s" Save and support.)
According to America Heart Association, about 9 out of every 1000 newborn that is 1% live birth in the U.S have at least one form of Congenital Heart Disease. Julien IE Hoffman, 2013, stated that the incidence is the same worldwide including developing countries. Counties that have high fertility rate have more children with CHD. Meaning that in Nigeria, about 1 in 100 child has Congenital Heart Disease/Defect.
During our launching in September 2020, the Chairman of the day, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, a congenital heart specialist and an interventional cardiologist analysed this further.
It is unfortunate however that as at January 2021, less than 5 hospitals in Nigeria performs corrective Open Heart Surgeries/ Invasive Intervention regularly. While some government hospital like UNTH, OAUTH does Open Heart Surgery, operation isn’t so regular (some rely on mission health care providers and foundations to schedule cases) He also added “As a country, we can’t even boast of meeting 1% of the children requiring OHS yearly.
The Solution is to have more Cardiac centres in the country to meet this need. In the mean time, the way out now is to encourage families of warriors (children diagnosed of Congenital heart disease) to seek help with leading private cardiac hospitals in the country. It is true that 2 or 3 private facilities have the gadget and expertise to perform OHS, the cost is expensive for the average Nigerian who live below a dollar per day.
It is for this reason CHDFNigeria hopes to donate at least 20% cost of surgery to 5 warriors monthly, irrespective of the facility taking the case.
To support this project, we would post details of warriors on our social media pages and 5 warriors who meet the eligibility criteria will be posted and donation links. Do remember to follow us on our social media pages instagram Facebook , YouTube, Twitter, linkedin at Chdfnigeria
Education of health care workers.
Earlier we talked about some government hospital e.g UNTH, OAUTH, National Hospital Abuja etc that group cases, put warriors/patients on waiting list till mission health care workers come into the country. Many who can’t afford private hospitals have no choice than to wait for this and in the process life is lost due to late intervention.
The Covid-19 outbreak in the early 2020 should have taught us a lesson on the need to refurbish and rescusitate Nigeria’s health care system. Countries border were locked, mission surgeons couldn’t visit, we won’t be wrong to say more children died of CHD in Nigeria since covid-19.
For better case management, improved success and outcome rate from Congenital Heart Disease, it is urgent that we invest in the education of health care workers in the field of Cardiology. Afterall, the heart is one of the most important organ in the body that if it fails or shuts down, other organs die as well.
Training more health care workers would result into less post- operative mortality and higher success rate, and a reduction of medical tourism.
It becomes imperative that we train people who are concerned about this topic and are ready to give their best for our country Nigeria, this reduces our dependence on experts from other part of the world.
More Cardiac intensive care and Operating room Nurses, cardiac sonographers, respiratory therapist, Cathlab personnels, Cardiac Surgeons etc needs to be sponsored for training if we really want to cater for the number of children born with Congenital Heart Disease Annually.
For collaboration, partnership and sponsorship in this regard, please reach us by email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or our line at +2348149190907.
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