Shine a Spotlight on Congenital Heart Disease

One in every 200 children born in Fiji is diagnosed with congenital heart disease.

Sharing this statistics, Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital Dr Krupali Tappoo said the awareness of this ‘silent but significant health issue’ was imminent so many are aware.

“The goal of this week is not merely a collection of days on the calendar, it represents a crucial opportunity to shine a spotlight on a silent but significant health issue that affects countless lives around the world.”

“According to the World Health Organisation, congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects, affecting 1 in every 100 new borns globally, in Fiji this equates to 200 children being born every year and in the South Pacific islands 2,500 children,” Dr Tappoo said.

Since opening its doors in 2019, there has been a total of 260 surgeries performed at the hospital and over 14,500 free echocardiograms conducted through their screening centres.

In addressing the event, Health Minister Dr Antonio Lalabalavu acknowledged the tireless efforts of the hospital and the visiting surgical teams who have been conducting successful outreaches.

Naomi Pareti, mother of 2-year-old Makereta said the hospital has been a lifeline for her baby and their family.

“When she was born we were told that she had 3 holes in her heart. I was at a loss, I didn’t know what to think. After a few more conversations and tests we were directed to this amazing hospital and now after surgery my daughter has a better chance at life. I owe this hospital so much,” an emotional Pareti said.

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