For a Child’s Heart: Mission Statement
“For a Child's Heart” is a pediatric cardiology awareness and charity program initiated by Dr. Mariam Khandaker. Its objective is to twofold: (1) to help disadvantaged pediatric patientsand their families at the National Heart Foundation and Research Institute in Bangladesh by raising funds for medical treatment, and (2) to spread awareness of pediatric health issues, particularly cardiac care, to promote improved healthcare in Bangladesh as a whole. The philosophy behind “For a Child's Heart” is that a little help can go a long way. A few dollars or taka can make a big difference in a patient’s life.
“For a Child's Heart” is affiliated with National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHF), located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is a nonprofit organization recognized and supported by the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The hospital is a 330-bed tertiary care cardiac hospital located in the heart of the Mirpur area of Dhaka. To meet increasing demand, another 150-bed site in Mirpur will soon be operating on Darus Salam Road, where the primary focus will be cardiac diseases affecting women and children. NHF was founded by Brig Abdul Malik, whose guiding principle has always been to provide service to humanity through medicine. The physicians and staff at NHF espouse this same philosophy, and NHF is reputed for providing excellent cardiac care at subsidized costs.
While these subsidized costs have opened the doors to cardiac care for countless patients in Bangladesh, many still struggle with healthcare costs. In Bangladesh, it is not uncommon to see patients come to the hospital as an absolute last resort, with their life’s savings in hand. Rotating through the wards, one meets patients and families struggling to afford procedures, medication, or even basic investigations; fathers who have sold everything to pay for their child’s treatment; mothers forgoing daily income to spend time by their child's bedside. Stories like these are innumerable. The objective of “For a Child's Heart” is to help these families.
As a first project, Dr. Khandaker has hand-drawn, designed, and donated boxed sets of greetings cards to NHF. These card sets were printed with the help of NHF staff and are currently being sold at NHF to raise money. All proceeds go towards helping a family in need at NHF. A separate “For a Child's Heart” bank account has been established under the umbrella of NHF, and money raised in this account is used specifically to help children and their families in the Pediatrics Department of NHF.