FirstBanc Financial Services supports newborn heart research


The FirstBanC Financial Services has donated an amount of GHc11,160.00 to support research into children with heart diseases.

The amount was to help pay for the cost of echocardiogram, a specialized video imaging of the heart looking for evidence of heart diseases in newborns.

Mr Samuel Annie Asiedu, the Managing Director of FirstBanC, making the donation said, it formed part of the company’s corporate social contributions to the people of Ghana.

“We had our hearts in our mouth when it came out that so many children with heart defects could be lost because of financial underpinnings,” he said.

Mr Asiedu said the company allocated a budget annually to support Corporate Social Responsibility for health and educational activities involving women and children in the country.

Dr Frank Owusu-Sekyere, a Pediatricians at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the principal investigator for the research, expressed gratitude to the institution for the gesture.

He explained that many children were born with heart defects which could be sorted out if diagnosed early.

“Increasingly, many children are diagnosed late with heart defects they were born with , resulting in severe consequences bordering on mortality at the Children’s Block of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

“Some are diagnosed, for the first time, as late as 12 years, by which time nothing much can be done by way of surgery to correct the defect,” he added.

The study was therefore designed to detect early, newborns with heart defects using physical examination parameters particularly a heart murmur (a noise in the heart) and pulse oximetry, a specialized instrument to determine the amount of oxygen in the blood of the newborn.

A very low oxygen reading or a difference of more than three between the right hand and foot suggests a possible heart defect.

He further explained that those babies after screening, known to have a possible heart defect needed to have an echocardiogram to confirm whether there was heart defect or not.

He said it was against this backdrop that an appeal was sent to the FirstBanC to help defray the cost for the confirmatory test for 93 babies to which it gladly obliged.

Source: GNA

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