November 20 – designated as Universal Children Day by United Nations (UN), is celebrated as a reminder of children in crisis. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) promotes this special day to boost children’s welfare. Universal Children Day raises awareness about the children in different parts of the world facing abuse, discrimination, war traumas, struggling with hunger, or living with disabilities. It also sheds light on child labor and describes children’s rights. Here we will discuss some of the congenital diseases. According to a 2016 report by WHO (World Health Organization), about 295 498 children have congenital anomalies . They certainly need our attention.
Starting with an unusual story – Tourette Syndrome (TS)
We usually adore well-mannered children. Well, they might be a little mischievous sometimes, but they are still cute. Now, what about the child who says something abusive? That doesn’t sound Okay! It seems like parents did not do their job correctly. So, in a supermarket, a child is saying inappropriate words randomly, but his parents don’t look ashamed. They look somewhat puzzled; however, they are not angry at their child. One lady in the supermarket says: ‘If you cannot raise your son properly, leave the store: ‘Are they among those carefree parents who would justify any behavior of their son? That was not the case exactly.
Ten-year-old Deaglan McCallion’s story was published on BBC News  when it caught my attention. As he says, “I am not a bad child, I just have Tourette’. Tourette syndrome is a nervous system condition characterized by involuntary motor or vocal tics, jerking arm or shoulders, or shouting words or phrases . What is more devastating is the people’s response. Despite Deaglan’s efforts of raising awareness about his condition to avoid judgmental remarks and criticism, we see comments like: ‘Where did he hear these words in the first place, how come he says these words and not something nice even if involuntarily?’ Well, I guess his parents did not cage him in the house. Or do we expect to keep a child isolated because of his condition?
Down’s syndrome is a common congenital condition which non-invasive prenatal tests can detect. The parents are given a choice to keep the child or terminate the pregnancy, which led to a debate whether we can choose only healthy children? However, that’s a separate topic. Even after birth, children with down’s syndrome are the target of discrimination. Therefore, awareness plays a vital role in guaranteeing children their rights. Down’s syndrome results in physical and intellectual disabilities, though the symptoms may vary among different individuals. Some physical features are short stature, small hands and feet, short neck, and small ears . The condition is lifelong; however, early intervention programs can aid in speech and physical therapy.
A neural tube is a structure that develops into the brain and spinal cord during embryogenesis. In spina bifida, the neural tube does not close properly . In simple words, an underdeveloped spine and spinal cord leave a gap in the baby’s spine. It can also show up in prenatal tests. The surgical procedure to correct the defect is performed soon after birth. Treatment and support services such as physiotherapy and mobility devices can enable many children to survive the deformity. Preventive measures include intake of folic acid supplements during pregnancy.
Clubfoot is the abnormally twisted feet of the baby caused by shorter tendons than usual . The calf muscles are affected as well. If the baby has clubfoot, they would have difficulty walking. Therefore, doctors recommend timely treatment. If left untreated, it may cause arthritis or the inability to walk. Besides, it can cause low self-esteem during the teen years due to the appearance of the foot. The treatment usually proceeds without surgery; however, a follow-up surgery is required in some cases. During pregnancy, you can lower the baby’s risk of congenital disabilities by avoiding alcohol, smoking, and the use of unprescribed drugs.
The atrial septal defect (ASD) is a common congenital heart defect in children. It is also known as a ‘hole in the heart .’ A septum separates the two chambers of the heart containing oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood. The fetus depends on the mother’s blood circulatory system. Hence, the chambers are not entirely closed. During fetal development, if the septum remains unclosed, it results in ASD. The complications associated with the defect include shortness of breath, tiredness, child’s poor growth, and the risk of developing lung infections such as pneumonia. The severity of the condition depends on the size of the gap in the septum. Later on, it can lead to abnormal heart rhythm and heartbeat. As the child grows older, there is an increased risk of stroke and pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, doctors recommend corrective surgery in early childhood.
Make A Difference By Playing Your Part!
You can do this by donating to an organization that works around the clock in order to help kids with congenital defects. That organization is Transparent Hands!
Transparent Hands is Pakistan’s biggest crowdfunding platform. We offer a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities on Universal children day. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged children and celebrates Universal children’s day, builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. We also set up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which, free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients.
How does Transparent Hands manage your zakat? Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely. So, if you donate your donation to this trustworthy platform, you will be helping someone cover their medical expenses. Think about it, so many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic can’t afford their health expenses right now. Transparent Hands manages your donations to help these distressed souls