Mike is 10 years old. He lives in Kampala, Uganda with his family in a small one-room apartment. He likes to play soccer, is a good student, and dreams of going to University. Unfortunately, he can no longer run and misses class frequently due to fatigue, difficulty breathing, and hospitalizations. Mike suffers from rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a completely preventable heart disease caused by untreated strep throat. Because his RHD is advanced, Mike faces an uncertain future—most children with advanced RHD in sub-Saharan Africa do not survive past their 25th birthday.
September 29th – October 5th, 2013
Over the last decade, echocardiography has proved to be the most sensitive tool for early RHD detection. The WHO now supports early detection of RHD through echocardiography in high-prevalence regions. The WHF has published evidence-based guidelines for the echocardiographic diagnosis of RHD. These guidelines were designed for use with a standard portable echo machine.
This guest post is from Children’s National Melissa Jones, a nurse practitioner specializing Cardiac Surgery. She is one of many members of our Cardiology team who are in Uganda.
What an amazing week with an incredible team! We completed eight surgeries, 13 cardiac catheterizations, screened roughly 200 children for heart disease, and evaluated more than 100 by our general pediatrician and our genetics team.