COAMED’ team believes that it is important to assist Colombia in the process of caring for refugees children because they have arrived seeking better living conditions, and many are in desperate need of medical treatment.
During August 2019, Colombia offered citizenship to 24,000 Venezuelan refugee children. According to the Colombian Immigration Office report of June 2019, there are at least 1.4 millions of Venezuelans living in Colombia, and approximately 197,000 are children under the age of 18.
At a time when anti-migrant sentiment is growing worldwide, Colombia has generously kept its doors open to its neighbors from Venezuela. As more families make the painful decision to leave their homes every day, it is time for the international community to step up its support and help meet their basic needs. We cannot let that generosity wear thin. COAMED has been working with Colombian institutions to create an alliance to bring resources and medical solutions to communities in need since 2013.
The main objective of all this assistance, is to save lives. COAMED has been gathering information from local foundations as well as family groups during the past year.
There have been identified at least 68 children with complex cardiac diseases. Accurate diagnosis is obtained bringing highly specialized doctors in place, to accomplish our objective. A complete medical history as well as state of the art imaging is required to diagnose them and select groups based on priority.
We anticipate that we will need one or two diagnostic missions a year to see all this kids in a growing number. Once the diagnosis and stratification is over, we will schedule the selected ones for intervention in the city of Bogotá; at no cost to the family.
These mission will determine the priority of the intervention based on how advanced the disease is in the child. Time is ticking on many of these kids, and for some, when the surgery is available it may be too late.
The extent effort comes when the kid is selected for an intervention, and that is the second step. All logistics of the program “Give a Life” will be implemented to transport, to provide housing for their families, to operate or intervene, to recuperate, to treat any complication, to rehabilitate and to bring kids back to their hometown.
COAMED Foundation intends to go Colombia on one or two medical missions in 2020. The purpose of the missions is to provide diagnostic and treatment for refugees children with congenital cardiac conditions. Open heart surgery will be an option for children who are in need of an immediate intervention due to underlying disease.
COAMED firmly believes that this will be a great opportunity to help Colombia during this humanitarian crisis, not only to help the country , but to save the children’s lives and give hope to their families. We will need financial help with the cost of surgery and medical treatment.