If your child has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, it means he or she was born with a problem in the heart’s structure. The news that your child has a congenital heart defect probably made you very anxious and worried about your child’s immediate and long-term health. But, knowing about your child’s congenital heart defect can help you understand his or her condition and what you can expect in the coming months and years.
The information portal africa.congenital.org will help you with some information not only about the different defects but also the procedures and tests involved in making the diagnosis of a heart defect. Some congenital heart defects are simple and don’t need treatment, such as a small hole between heart chambers that closes on its own. Other congenital heart defects in children are more complex and may require several surgeries performed over a period of several years. If you would like to know more about a certain defect, please click here.
You are not alone. There are many families in South Africa and around the world affected by congenital and acquired heart disease that share your fears and concerns. Please visit the websites of parent advocacy groups to link with these families or email us to put you in contact with families in your area.
Congenital heart defects are treated by paediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons – there are referral centres only in certain towns in South Africa and in certain parts of the continent. If you need any information or need to contact a physician to discuss your child’s condition, please click here.