To raise awareness and support the plight of children born with heart disease, Children’s HeartLink is launching its Little Hearts, Big Change campaign in conjunction with February Heart Health Month and Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (February 7-14). Boston Scientific is matching donations made to the campaign in February, up to $10,000 in total giving.
One in 100 babies in the world are born with a heart defect, of which more than 70% will require medical or surgical treatment in their first year of life. Yet in low- and middle-income countries, less than 1% of babies will receive this lifesaving surgery. Children’s HeartLink works with medical teams around the globe, training them to provide treatment and surgeries.
“Boston Scientific has been a partner of Children’s HeartLink since 2008 and a leading supporter of our work in Malaysia, where we focus not only on training heart care specialists but also on developing the infrastructure needed to ensure that high-quality care is accessible to all children in need,” says Children’s HeartLink President Jackie Boucher. “This partnership has helped us build relationships and advocate with the Malaysia government for cardiac workforce expansion, national health care planning and financing for heart surgeries. This matching grant for our February fundraising campaign is yet another collaboration with Boston Scientific that will help Children’s HeartLink advance its mission and save children’s lives.”
Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, Malaysia needs more specialized health care professionals to address the complex needs of its youngest heart patients. An estimated 3,000 children born annually with a congenital heart defect in Malaysia require surgery, but not all children receive the timely care they need.
Boston Scientific in recent years has partnered with Children’s HeartLink to support Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence Institute Jantung Negara (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur, which serves 11,000 children annually. IJN is a major training center throughout Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Boston Scientific also supports Serdang Hospital in the western state of Selangor. Children’s HeartLink medical volunteers from Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom are the primary trainers and mentors for the staff at Serdang Hospital.
“We are proud to support Children’s HeartLink in their mission to improve the quality of care for the many children in Malaysia and across the globe with heart conditions,” says Kenneth Stein, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Global Health Policy and Rhythm Management, Boston Scientific. Our partnership highlights our dedication to advancing science for life and our commitment to ensure all those impacted by heart disease have access to the best possible care.”
Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. Founded in 1969, Children’s HeartLink currently supports 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Last year alone, the medical providers we trained served 177,000 children with heart disease, more than ever before. To support Children’s HeartLink’s mission and work, donate to the Little Hearts, Big Change campaign that runs throughout the month of February.