Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Heart Foundation to pay for 20 surgeries per year at Korle-Bu
The National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCC) has received a boost towards its vision to provide timely access to every child born with a congenital heart condition in the country.
This follows a commitment by the Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation to pay for 20 surgeries per year for children at the facility for at least the next decade.
The Foundation was set up by Mr YC Shen, the global chairman of the Sunda International Group and named after his two sons.
It will work in collaboration with the NCC to provide corrective surgeries for 20 children in urgent need of heart surgery at the cost of $6,000 per child every year. Parents can access financial support by applying for support from the Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation.
Speaking to the media at the launch of the foundation at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on Thursday in Accra, Mr. Shen said, the decision to establish the foundation was based on the high mortality rate associated with congenital heart defects (CHD).
He stated that being the parent of the congenital heart disease survivor he was aware that a major barrier to treatment was money to pay for corrective surgery.
He stated that under the collaboration with the NCC, all expenses will be borne by the foundation to lift the financial burden off the shoulders of their parents.
"In the case of Ghana, as many as 372 per million of the Ghanaian population are affected with the majority losing their lives due to lack of financial access to surgical treatment. Only 20% of parents are able to pay for the surgery. Basically, a diagnosis of CHD is a death sentence for children born to poor parents," he said.
"The aim of Shen Yang and Shen Yuet Children's Heart Foundation is to provide hope and a new shot at life for such children. Although the plight of these children cannot be addressed overnight, we are committed to preserving their precious lives.
"We will work in collaboration with National Cardiothoracic Centre, to provide corrective surgeries for 20 children in urgent need of heart surgery at the cost of $6,000 per child every year for the next 10 years. All expenses will be borne by the foundation to lift the financial burden off the shoulders of their parents.
Mr. Shen also plans to facilitate the training of medical staff and surgeons to boost the number of specialists (Cardiologists) in the country.
One of the founders and son of the Chairman, Mr. Shen Yang said it gave him great joy to be in a position to help and prayed that together with his family, they will continue to do so for many years to come.
The CEO of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah expressed gratitude to the Shen family and the Sunda International Group for their benevolence.
He said there was no greater sign of greatness than impacting the lives of strangers with such an impactful investment in the health delivery system of the country.
Dr Ampomah assured the trustees of the foundation that every dollar donated would be used for its intended purpose.
The Consultant Surgeon at the National Cardiothoracic Centre, Dr. Kow Entsua Mensah described the initiative as one of the major interventions in the history of the Centre.
He also urged other organizations to emulate the Sunda Group so that the NCT will achieve its vision to provide timely access to treatment to every child born with a heart condition in the country.
He was hopeful that soon no child would have to suffer an agonising wait for its parents or guardians to raise funds for surgery.
“Unfortunately, a few of them pass away while waiting for help to come. It is something we do not like at all. A few children die before they can be helped,” he said.
A delighted parent of one of the beneficiaries of the foundation, Khadija Adams said the initiative was God-sent and had come at the right time to ease her financial burden.