by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by ARIF KARTONO
PARENTS should remain alert for congenital heart disease symptoms on their children as it can lead to untreated cardiac illnesses.
National Heart Institute (IJN) consultant paediatric cardiologist and deputy head Dr Marhisham Che Mood said in some cases, the children might have inherited the disease but it went unnoticed until adulthood.
“These symptoms should not be taken lightly, because if it goes untreated it might get worse for the child,” he told reporters at the institute’s corporate social initiative (CSI) programme for underprivileged children in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.
Among the symptoms to look out for are blue lips and fingers of the child, as well as signs of sudden fatigued or loss of breath. He said for most cases involving children, the disease is usually present at birth.
“In terms of the heart’s formation, it has been flawed at birth, while there is a small percentage whereby their condition only began showing when they are older,” he explained.
Separately, as a part of the institute’s corporate social responsibility programme, IJN had taken underprivileged children from care centres and orphanages to Aquaria KLCC to experience educational activities featuring an underwater performance of Santa Claus and a group of mermaids.
IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said the group has always put the health of the community at the forefront of its work, including children’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
“Children from underprivileged backgrounds tend to have limited opportunities to enjoy fun and educational experiences such as these, which are important in helping them develop their interests and curiosity,” he said.
The institute is set to bring more underprivileged children to the centre in the upcoming weeks of December.
Aquawalk Sdn Bhd group CEO Datuk Simon Foong said the Christmas season is a season for giving, which is fitting for the CSI programme by the institute.
“We look forward to giving these children a memorable and magical Christmas experience while learning about the wonderful marine and freshwater species here at Aquaria KLCC,” he said.
The centre is offering “A Dash of Science”, whereby visitors may join scientific experiments which happens every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays throughout December at the education booth, covering topics such as Ocean Acidification and the function of fats in the marine body.