Pediatric heart disease is costly to treat and many poor families are devastated financially as they struggle to care for their child. In response, the VinaCapital Foundation established the Continuing Care Program for Heartbeat Vietnam children and their families. This program protects the child in the crucial year after surgery by providing one year of post-operative medical care, nutritional support, and money for school fees.
To be eligible for the Continuing Care Program, participants must meet the following criteria:
- The child received funding from Heartbeat Vietnam for heart surgery
- The child’s family must have a poverty certificate attesting to the need for additional support
The continuing care sponsorship payment for an individual child will cease one year after his or her heart surgery. In addition, the sponsorship will cease if the child’s family life or financial position has improved or if the child drops out of school permanently prior to the end of the post-operative year.
The program will be financed according to the actual number of children based on a fee of 600,000VND (~ $30 USD) per child per month, which includes:
- Payment of post-operative support for one child to 300,000 VND (~$15 USD) cover social insurance, medicine, and nutrition
- Payment of education support for one child to 300,000 VND (~$15 USD) cover partial school fee
Continuing Care: Thanh Phuc’s Story
Nguyen Thanh Phuc is 14-years-old and born with a fatal congenital heart disease. Phuc’s father passed away six year ago, and his mother has also suffered a terrible fate. Because the family was so poor and couldn’t afford Phuc’s medical treatment, his mother did what she could to get enough money. It was never enough, so she, in desperation, committed an illegal trading crime and was sentenced to six years in prison. Currently, Phuc lives with his grandmother, an uncle, and a cousin. His cousin works in a rice paper workshop and earns a modest, unstable income; he is the family’s sole breadwinner.
Phuc suffered from ill-health since his birth, to the point where he had to be carried to school every day. When Phuc’s case reached Heartbeat Vietnam, we set him up with surgery immediately and he finally got the lifesaving treatment he needed.
Because Phuc’s family was near-destitute, we awarded him with a Continuing Care grant, which provided him with one year of aftercare (including medical exams, transportation, and nutrition) as well as one year of school tuition. This allowed the family to get back on their feet financially, and for Phuc to have the best recovery possible.