The heart is one of the organs most vulnerable to the effects of radiation, and every year, 6,000 children in the Ukraine are born with genetic heart diseases and defects. One of these defects is the deadly condition known as “Chernobyl Heart.” This is a defect in the heart of children caused by radiation from Chernobyl, and it causes physical holes in the heart of the child, along with a host of other issues.
Over 68% of all deaths in Ukraine are due to cardiovascular disease alone and more than 50% of children are not operated on because of lack of facilities and training. Ukraine has an under-five mortality rate of 15%, by comparison to 5% in the UK, and this has been attributed mainly to congenital heart diseases.
Only half of affected children will receive the surgeries that they need to survive: the rest will die within three to five years.
CCI manages and delivers a world-recognised Cardiac Programme that has saved the lives of thousands of children. In collaboration with the American cardiac surgeon Dr. William Novick, CCI has reduced a waiting list for cardiac surgeries in Belarus from 7,000 to less than 2,500 children in just five years. Another 6,000 children will be operated on in 2012/2013.
Volunteer surgical teams travel throughout the Ukraine and Belarus to perform surgeries that save lives, and CCI provides financial and logistical support to the cardiac surgeons in order for them to make the vital trips to the effected areas. We also provide state of the art medical technology and equipment needed to perform the operations, as well as to train local physicians. This training develops local capacity and skills, enabling local surgical teams to treat the children in their own area more effectively and with more success.
During each trip, the surgical teams are able to save the lives of 30 - 40 children, at a cost of just €1,000 per operation.
That €1,000 is all it takes to save a child's life.
To find out how your organisation or business can sponsor a life-saving mission to Ukraine or Belarus, or to enquire about becoming a volunteer, please contact us today on +353 21 431299 or fill out our enquiry form
Amir is five months old. He was born with a severe cardiac defect that, without corrective surgery, would have led to heart failure and death. Thanks to Chernobyl Children International's children's cardiac surgery program in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Amir received the surgery he needs to survive on January 30.
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