Build a Cardiac Hospital in Rwanda Brick by Brick
Rwanda, a country of near 12 million people, has been rebuilding the health care system since the genocide in 1994, and making huge strides in decreasing both maternal mortality and mortality in children under age 5. However, the rising rates of heart disease and other non-communicable diseases paired with diseases of poverty, such as strep throat, have led to a health crisis. Rheumatic heart disease, often caused by strep throat, is the leading cause of cardiac hospitalizations in Rwanda. Currently, there is not a catheterization lab for diagnosis or intervention, and no year- round surgical care. Four international teams work together to provide care quarterly, barely meeting the most critical surgical needs. It is estimated there are almost 3,000 people on the waiting list for cardiac surgery, most under the age of 30. In addition, pediatric congenital heart disease is virtually undiagnosed outside the city center, despite 8-10 of every 1,000 births being affected.
Like most lower income countries, this is a looming crisis. Since 2007, Team Heart has been collaborating with local care givers to address the burden of cardiac care. In 2014, Team Heart requested permission from the Rwanda Ministry of Health to raise funds to build a cardiac center in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The center will be privately built by philanthropy and provide sustainable care for all citizens of Rwanda. Using the highest quality of care at the lowest possible cost, the center will serve as a hub to establish and maintain standards of cardiac care, serve as a center for training and evidence based research, as well as a center of excellence in patient care.
We understand the challenges of providing such specialized care in a resource poor setting, and addressing the growing numbers of individuals with heart disease. Help us meet this challenge and deliver the best care in a model that can be replicated across Rwanda, and the region. Help us build a Cardiac Center for Rwanda.