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The Childrens Heart Foundation

heart-foundationThe Children’s Heart Foundation of Zimbabwe was formed in 1996 to financially assist parents of children born with heart defects.    Charles Bannerman a Paediatric Cardiologist felt there were many Zimbabwean families who had no way of raising the money to enable their children to have life saving surgery.  He asked two mothers of children with heart defects to set up a fund to assist these children.

The Board of Trustees comprises Rob Galbraith as Chairman, Steve Turk, a Chartered Accountant, Mark Stonier, a lawyer, Charles Bannerman, a Paediatric Cardiologist, Dee Scallan,  mother of a child with a heart defect, Jenny Lovell, a community minded businesswoman and Paul Filer, a respected businessman involved in many charities. The Foundation has no secretariat or administration expenses as the Trustees freely donate their time. The Foundation is run in a business like manner and audited accounts are produced each year.

In Zimbabwe and indeed worldwide 1 in a 100 babies are born with a heart defect and of that one third will require surgery.  As much as possible is done in Zimbabwe but most children need to be sent outside Zimbabwe for treatment in order to survive.

Each year children die as parents cannot afford to send them to South Africa for treatment which would not only save their lives but convert them to normal – that is to say strong happy children who delight their families.

The task of raising money is incredible and beyond the reach of many.  While we cannot hope to help every child we are committed to maximising the help we can give.  Many parents are poor, are not members of medical aid societies and are, thus, unable to pay for external medical treatment. Surgery in South Africa is costing between R200 000 and R500 000 (US$ 30 000 and US$ 70 000).

There are always children needing to go to South Africa.  These children are so precious every one of them deserves a chance to live.

The Foundation supports children through payment of travel expenses—for the child and mother- and drugs, pre- and post- surgery. We also continuously look for ways in which basic, simple surgery can be undertaken in Zimbabwe to, at least, alleviate the suffering.

The Foundation cannot afford to pay for the surgery but has a linkage with the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiology Center for Africa and Chain of Hope, a UK based charity, whereby surgery is undertaken at very low or no cost. We continue to look for similar linkages worldwide.

We would be most grateful for any assistance you may be able to offer.

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