A project on promptly discovering and treating children with congenital heart disease, the first of its kind in Vietnam , was signed in the central province of Thanh Hoa on June 29.

Signatories were representatives from the provincial Department of Health and the East Meets West Foundation.

The 2.6 billion VND project will be carried out from now until March, 2014 in Dong Son and Cam Thuy districts. It aims to enhance the capacity of healthcare stations throughout the province, including building a key contingent of qualified cardiovascular doctors and providing adequate medical equipment to offer the best healthcare services.

In addition, the project will also hold a campaign targeting households with children below 6 years old and pregnant women to raise their awareness of inborn heart disease. Any query regarding this kind of disease will be cleared up through a telephone hot line, soon to be inaugurated.

According to the latest statistics in Thanh Hoa, nearly 10,000 babies with heart disease are yet to be discovered. On top of this, it is thought that over 400 babies are born with the disease every year.

However, only 40 percent of children with heart defects were discovered and got medical treatment at central and local hospitals.

The project will also help ease loads at central and local hospitals, easing the economic and social burden caused by late diagnosis and treatment.-VNA