Friday, December 4, 2009

Mindanao Heart Fund needs more funds to help heart patients

Over 200 pediatric and adult heart patients from all over Mindanao are waiting for simple heart treatments, from simple 2-D echocardiograms to open heart operations, to be conducted by the Mindanao Heart Center. However, these patients may have to wait longer than necessary until enough funds are sourced for their treatments.

For one, the one year old Dr. Gerry Cunanan Mindanao Heart Fund is not even a full-pledged foundation yet so it could not yet avail of financial and other support from local and foreign donors. The Fund only has P200,000 in its coffers, and still lacks P800,000 to meet the Securities and Exchange requirement for those wanting to establish a foundation.

“The most we can do right now given our resources is to help two children and 2 adult heart patients undergo a 2-D Echo examination every month,” Fund Board of Trustee Dr. Mark Maruya said. A 2-D echo examination costs P1,100 so for that and other related services alone, the Fund needs at least P10,000 a month to sustain the simple services it is providing the people.

Maruya, who appeared frustrated about not being able to help as many heart patients as possible due to funding constraints, said they are having a hard time raising the remaining money needed to become a foundation which would open doors of opportunity for the Fund abroad when it comes to financial and other donations.

“It is useless to establish a Fund or a Foundation such as this if we could not help these people by operating on them,” he said. Maruya said they have already written different government agencies and most of these offices have contributed P10,000 each.

However, he said, the donation only sums up to a small amount not even enough to comply with SEC requirements for a foundation. First we need help so we can be declared a foundation already and ask for donations abroad, he said. However, he added, we also need more so we can provide 2-D echo, surgery and other treatments for indigent patients.

While the Mindanao Heart Center of the Davao Medical Center pays for the personnel expenses, he said, the supplies being used are on consignment basis which should be paid after being consumed.

“We are pleading to all those who have the heart and the means to help finance our organization so we can help more people suffering from heart problems,” Maruya said.

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