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Eman Ismael


Nine and a half years old Eman Ismael of Kamra, (District Attock) was only 40 days of age when she developed recurring fever. Her family brought her to a local physician who after failing to stabilize her condition, referred the patient to Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar. There she remained hospitalized for few two weeks and then finally she was referred to National Institute of Heart Diseases (NIHD) Rawalpindi for detailed cardiac checkup. Doctors at NIHD after some investigations, concluded that the young girl was suffering from a congenital condition of Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) generally referred to as a “hole” in the heart.

In pure medical terms, she was diagnosed to be suffering from Ventricular Septal Defect, a condition in which the lower two chamber of heart (The Left and Right Ventricles) which are normally separated by a wall called septum happens to have an opening which caused the blood to flow back in the wrong direction. Small Septal defects may remain unnoticed till middle ages or even later. However, with bigger defects, symptoms appear any time after birth through childhood as was the case with Eman Ismail. Typically, the surgical intervention is, done through a costly closed heart procedure in a which the hole is closed by implanting a sophisticated closure device which fills up the hole and closes it on both ends. The procedure is carried out normally under non-GA (General Anesthesia).

The doctors gave an estimated cost of Rs. 320,000 for Eman’s VSD closure procedure. The patient’s father is a low-income Security Guard at Zarai Taraqyati Bank in Mardan, KPK. The family lives hand to mouth in a Katcha two room house built on a local Khan’s land. The father earns Rs. 13,000 per month and had no means of arranging such a big sum, hence the family resorted to palliative care hoping to somehow hit a jackpot someday that will enable them to afford the catastrophically expensive surgery. Even the prolonged palliative care exacted a high economic toll on the family plunging them under a debt of over 300,000.

On 18th of May 2016, patient’s condition deteriorated. She was rushed to HMC Peshawar from where through word of mouth, they come to know of Heartfile Health Financing supporting costly surgeries in PIMS cardiology. They took the patient to PIMS from where she was again referred to NIHD. Her financing application was simultaneously sent to HHF for approval of funding. Heartfile approved the patient for funding and she was operated in NIHD on 24th Jun 2016.

Heartfile follow ups on the patient dated 15 July 2016 and 23 Sep 2016 confirm that the patient is well on her way to recovery and is leading a pretty much normal life at school as well as at home.



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Heartfile Health Financing (HHF) is an access to treatment program for non-communicable diseases. It provides financial access for high-cost treatment for those who are unable to pay, are likely to spend catastrophically or forgo treatment. HHF's mobile phone-driven process is fully transparent and offers help to patients with dignity. HHF currently operates in selected hospitals in Pakistan and is being prepared for scale-up.  

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