163 children diagnosed with heart disease in Levuka

163 children diagnosed with heart disease in Levuka

By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Friday 11/11/2022
[Photo: Supplied/Sai Prema Foundation]

A visit to Levuka by the team from the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital Fiji has resulted in the discovery of 163 children affected with heart disease.

All the children diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease during these screening clinics have been referred for further ECHO screening, and if surgeries are required, they will have them done at the Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital in Suva free of cost.

The trip to Levuka was made on the back of the visit to Taveuni, Savusavu and Labasa where 121 children were diagnosed with heart disease.

Led by visiting Cardiologist Dr. Yogesh Sathe, the 5-member team from Sai Sanjeevani Children’s Hospital conducted a heart screening outreach for children in Levuka.

All heart screenings were done completely free of cost.

A total of 883 children had their hearts screened. Out of these children, 93 children were diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and 70 children with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD).

Dr. Yogesh Sathe, the visiting cardiologist from Sai Sanjeevani Hospital India, says that children with Congenital Heart Disease are most likely to undergo surgical intervention.

Congenital Heart Disease is a heart abnormality present at birth.

The problem can affect the heart walls, the heart valves and the blood vessels.

Dr Sathe says that this screening camp was once again a startling reality of pediatric health in rural and maritime Fiji. Dr Sathe adds that their cardiac screening visit to Labasa, Savusavu and Taveuni was a revelation for the team but their visit to Levuka has further deepened their concerns about the extent of heart disease prevalent across Fiji.

Dr. Sathe says that the discovery of these cases shows that it is their primary responsibility to act as a catalyst in speeding up the efforts of Congenital Heart Disease awareness/early detection in the general population by training primary care pediatricians and community practitioners, health workers, nursing units at multiple places.

Since opening in April this year, the Hospital has already given a new Gift of Life of 81 children from Fiji.

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