12 More children benefit from life-saving heart surgeries

Ordinarily families would have to pay approximately £5,000, or close to $J 1 million, to cover the cost of cardiac catheterisation – a procedure necessary for children born with congenital heart disease.

However, for 12 families the hefty price tag was waived, and the procedure provided for free by the Chain of Hope charity.

The UK-based charity, which is on its second mission in the island, completed the procedures earlier this week, at the new bi-plane catheter laboratory at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Approximately 400 children are born each year in Jamaica with congenital heart disease, half of whom will need some form of corrective procedure.

Cardiac catheterisation is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require the chest to be cut open.

Instead catheters are used to close holes in the patient’s heart or fix whichever heart defect they may have.

The medical mission, which is made possible through the Ministry of Health & Wellness and involves a partnership with the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation among other foundations, has helped 21 children on its second visit to the island.

The Chain of Hope charity visited the island for the first time earlier this month.

The charity which was founded in 1996 aims to link experts together to bring life-saving heart treatments to children in developing countries.