KABUL- As many as 800 children suffering from heart diseases were treated over the past two years at home and abroad, with another 2,300 children waiting to receive treatment, the Afghan Red Crescent Society said on Wednesday .
Forty of the ailing children would be sent to Pakistan, India and to hospitals in Kabul, the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) head, Fatima Gilani, told a news conference in Kabul.
Of the 40 children having serious heart problems would be admitted to the Rahman Medical Complex in Peshawar and at the Max hospital in India, she said, adding some of the children with minor problems were being referred to the French hospital in Kabul.
"My daughter, Ravina, is a heart patient since she was three-year-old, but I could not take her to doctors due to economic problems," Toran, mother of the 12-year-old girl from western Herat province told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The mother said her daughter was happy that the ARCS would send her to India for treatment, something they had been waiting for over the past nine months.
Gilani said that $2 million (91.6 million Afghanis) were spent on treatment of 800 children in Pakistan, India and the French hospital during the last two years.
About 325 of the 800 patients sent to Pakistan and India were girls and 475 boys between the ages of 11 and 19 years, she said, adding the children belonged to all provinces of the country. All the expenses were paid by the ARCS, she said.
Currently about 2,300 children suffering from heart diseases have been registered with the society and their treatment required $6 million, Gilani said. Each child travelling with a family member to Pakistan or India needed $3,000, she said.
She urged the Ministry of Public Health to establish a special hospital for heart diseases and asked traders, charity foundations and ordinary Afghans to help the ARCS to enable it send more children for treatment abroad. (Pajhwok)