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To work to establish a sustainable regional center of excellence in cardiac care. To prevent advanced rheumatic heart disease through a combined effort of surveillance, prevention, education and early intervention as an example of effective countrywi... Read more
To work to establish a sustainable regional center of excellence in cardiac care. To prevent advanced rheumatic heart disease through a combined effort of surveillance, prevention, education and early intervention as an example of effective countrywide intervention against rheumatic heart disease that can inspire replication in sub-Saharan Africa.
TeamHeart is a volunteer organization based New England, founded in 2007 to provide surgical intervention for young adults and adolescents suffering from critical rheumatic heart disease. Early in the process we realized we could be a catalyst to support and stimulate a program to provide prevention and early intervention while helping to build a program in cardiac surgery. Our program has evolved into a comprehensive program to address all aspects on rheumatic heart disease in partnership with our Rwandan colleagues.
In addition to providing surgical intervention to those selected for our surgical trips, screening of more than 100 patients is completed by our cardiology team. Initial screening is completed in country by our colleagues and partners.
We take a team of 35 highly trained professionals in medicine, nursing and the support services needed to provide the safest care possible. Each volunteer raises funds or pays for their own travel and donates vacation time. The government of Rwanda provides meals and hotel accommodations nearby the hospital.
Until 2011, we procured and shipped over 3 tons of everything needed to provide cardiac surgery. Beginning in 2012 we began to transition the supply chain to Rwanda while training the local team--the first step to sustainability.