Our medical team, equipped with a portable echocardiography machine, travels to partner sites in developing countries in order to evaluate pre and post operative patients together with local cardiologists.
Following the children’s examination, the Save a Child’s Heart medical team, which includes two physicians – at least one of them a cardiologist – decides together with the local partner on a list of children requiring heart surgery or catheterization. This list will be used by the local team to prioritize the cases and determine who should be sent for surgery based on medical need and when, in accordance with available funding.
The cardiology clinics also provide essential follow-up care for children who were previously treated by Save a Child’s Heart. In order to provide this continued support, Save a Child’s Heart has set-up coumadin clinics in partner sites for children who have undergone valve replacements and require a drug called coumadin for the rest of their lives in order to regulate their blood thickness. Save a Child’s Heart provides an on-going supply of this medicine, monitors and examination kits required to test the blood, as well as training for the clinic’s personnel.
During the clinics abroad, the Israeli physicians are often joined by colleagues, such as Dr. Nicole Haeffner from Kinderhilfe Sansibar, Dr. Livia Kapusta from UMC St Radboud, in Nijmegen, Holland and Dr. Rula Awwad, Pediatric Cardiologist from the Palestinian Authority, who has concluded a 4-year training fellowship at the pediatric cardiology unit at the Wolfson Medical Center under the Save a Child’s Heart program.
During each clinic held abroad, the doctors screen dozens to hundreds of children, both pre and post operative patients. This is dependent on the length of the mission and the destination. At any given moment there are thousands of children suffering from heart disease around the world who require our assistance.
To date, thousands of children have been examined by Save a Child’s Heart in 64 clinics abroad, which have taken place in Angola, China, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan (Iraqi children), Mauritania, Moldova, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Zanzibar.