Karachi - Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) has signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU) with Pakistan Children’s Heart Foundation (PCHF) to deal with ever increasing Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), generally known as hole in a heart challenge of Pakistan. Director of GIMS Dr Raheem Bakhsh Bhatti and Chief Executive Officer of PCHF Muhammad Farhan signed and MoU at Gambat Taluka of Khairpur district here on Saturday.

Communication Officer, Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, said GIMS is launching cardiac surgery within four months for residents of upper Sindh and its adjoining areas. He said developing a pediatric cardiac program is a huge challenge in any of the existing facilities as well as new setup. Private sector does not see this as financially feasible since arrangement of Rs. 500,000 for an open-heart surgery for a low- or middle-income family is very difficult.

 He said pediatric cardiac surgery staff is a rarity itself and children after surgery needs complete ICU care. We are short of Perfusionists, ICU intensivist, Pediatric Anesthesia & technicians therefore MoU has been signed with PCHF for capacity building staff  to launch congenital heart defect surgery.

The Pakistan has the highest rate of CHD challenge with limited resources. 12 out of every 1000 new born have CHD. The whole country has only 25 to 30 paediatric cardiologist and less than 10 specialized paediatric cardiac surgeons with a population of 220 million.

 PCHF a non-profit organization, that aims to build awareness in general public regarding Congenital Heart Diseases (CHD) and its treatment, focuses on capacity building of existing hospitals. PCHF focus is to help do capacity building for existing government hospitals by arranging medical missions from abroad to ensure sustainability of the program.

The agreement will cover initially following four areas: capacity building for paediatric cardiologist, surgeons, ICU staff & nurses etc, arrange workshop for GIMS paediatricians to enable them for CHD patients screening, staff of will attend cardiac ICU training organized by PCHF in Lahore on 5th & 7th Dec and explore further opportunities to build a sustainable Peads Cardiac program at GIMS.

GIMS is a teaching hospital, it has been rated a first-rate teaching hospital at the level of a medical centre by the Sindh Health Department.