, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – The Kenyatta Trust in partnership with the Save a Child’s Heart Kenya organization are seeking to raise Sh150 million to cater for the cost of conducting heart surgeries on Kenyan children who will be sent to Israel.
Executive Director Mwende Mbevi told Capital FM News that about 20 children are initially meant to benefit from the initiative set for Tuesday next week in measures aimed at reducing the mortality rate as a result of heart conditions before the number is increased to 100.
She is urging corporate entities and other individuals to be part of the event which is meant to ensure that the less privileged children are catered for.
“Because we both serve underprivileged children, that is the connection. The initiative is open to children from when they are born. After 15 years, their chances of survival are minimal,” she stated.
She pointed out that President Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Patron of the Kenyatta Trust got involved in the process after a visit to Israel where he saw children having surgeries.
“So he asked the Save a Child’s Heart MD who is Rina what he could do to help. After processing all that information, it was passed on to the trust to make the collaboration happen which means assisting them to raise funds which means to raise 15,000 dollars per child,” she said.
She explained that Save a Child’s Heart Kenya on the other hand approached the First Lady to be their patron and she accepted.
“After listening to the stories of the children and after watching the videos, and as we all know about her passion and commitment not only to maternal health but also to little children, her heart was melted by what she saw and heard and when the question was asked as to whether she would be the patron of Save a Child’s Heart, she said yes,” she stated, adding that the fund raising event scheduled for September 6 will be officiated by the First Lady.
“I am very proud that the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta agreed to become a patron of the Save a Child’s Heart. In addition, I am pleased that the Kenyatta Trust itself has joined our noble cause. I believe that all of us together can give hundreds of Kenyan children a second chance in life,” she stated.
She pointed out that the event will ensure that the less privileged children are given a chance to live.
“Even while we are serving 28 children, those are the fortunate children. I currently have approximately 100 children on a waiting list and we intend to do all we can to support them so that they can travel to Israel for the most important journey of their lives. Pediatric heart surgeries are done by volunteers at no charge,” she stated.
A Cardiologist Dr Naomi Gachara explained that the initiative will also be used to train Kenyan doctors to obtain the requisite skills to conduct operations locally which is more effective.
“One of our surgeons was trained in Israel and we are hoping that another one will also be sent there for training,” she stated.
She recalled the global statistics of children living with heart ailments and stated that the initiative was welcome.
“Worldwide, every one in eight thousand children are born with a heart problem. Then there are those who acquired so the bulk of the children is a lot. If I look at the hospitals offering surgeries as well we only have the government hospital being Kenyatta National Hospital while the rest are not operating,” she said.
The Kenyatta Trust is a non-profit making organization registered in Kenya and its beneficiaries are students from disadvantaged family backgrounds.