Heart Birth Defect Awareness Event Offers A New Way to Express Love on Valentine's Day
Internationally, healthcare officials have proclaimed Valentine's Day, February 14th 2005 "A DAY FOR HEARTS : Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day" to raise public awareness about a common form of birth defect - Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) - http://www. CHDinfo. com/chdaware/
Chennai, India (PRWEB) February 12, 2005
Valentine's Day and hearts are eternally linked. A group of dedicated parents, patients, family members and friends, along with doctors, nurses and social workers are hoping an annual "heart" holiday will help them raise awareness about the problem. Jeanne Imperati of Connecticut, USA, herself the mother of a child with a congenital heart defect, in 1999 conceived the idea for an annual awareness day to reduce childhood deaths, and increase funding to support congenital heart defect related causes and cures.
The problem is global. An estimated 7 in every 1000 children born each year have a heart defect, making it the most common birth defect. "Few people realize more babies are born with congenital heart defects than with Spina Bifida, Down's syndrome and hearing loss" said Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian, consultant pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon in Chennai, India. "The unique circumstances in India often prevent recognition or timely treatment of this deadly condition. The reason is often lack of awareness and knowledge about the disease and the treatment options available, or lack of financial resources to support treatment" he added.
On his website, CHDinfo. com, Dr. Mani seeks to help solve the problem by offering easy-to-understand explanations about heart birth defects to parents and families. The six-year old service offers valuable information to thousands of CHD families each month.
"Valentine's Day and hearts are closely associated. Observing Valentine's Day (February 14th) as "A Day For Hearts: Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day is the perfect way to express love in a different way - by drawing attention to CHDs." Says one mother of a child with CHD: "We all see these perfect decorative hearts at Valentine's Day. But for parents and families of kids with heart defects, these hearts mean so much more."
Local coordinators nationwide are planning activities in recognition of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day 2005. For more information on what's happening visit http://www. CHDinfo. com/chdaware/ (http://www. CHDinfo. com/chdaware/)
Editors Note: Contact Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian at +91 442 6164046 to schedule interviews with heart defect patients, their families or medical professionals.
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