INTERNATIONAL CARDIAC OUTREACH

RESEARCH & EDUCATION PROGRAM

Embark on a global cardiac outreach effort that provides lifesaving treatments for needy patients, working collaboratively with international healthcare colleagues and improve access to cardiovascular care through education and research.

Global Outreach Pillars

The Global Outreach Program was established in 2005 and founded on the four pillars of partnership, training, treatment and prevention.

Partnership

Develop partnerships with stakeholders

Treatment

Provide treatment without cost to children and young adults with critical cardiac surgical needs

Training

Training of cardiac health care professionals

Prevention

Develop RHD prevention programs in partnership with local Ministries of Health

“This has been a personal calling for me since childhood.  Give life to others, care for others, care for your family- more importantly, care for strangers.  To the world you may be one person, to the one person, you may be the world.” 

Dr. Vibhu Kshettry, Global Outreach Program Medical Director at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation

Global Outreach in Ethiopia

Training program: Since 2010, we have been partnering with the Cardiac Center of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to build capacity and training for their cardiac surgical team. During our initial visits to Ethiopia, it became apparent that successful capacity building requires a local, fully trained cardiac team.  To that end, we partnered with a site in Bangalore, India to provide a 1-3 year training program for the Ethiopia cardiac team comprised of 2 cardiac surgeons, 1cardiac anesthesiologist, 2 pediatric cardiologists, 1 adult interventional cardiologist, 2 cardiac perfusionists and 6 ICU nurses.  This training consisted of working in a high volume surgical center and treating children and young adults with congenital and rheumatic heart disease.  Since returning from their training, the Ethiopian cardiac team has been operating independently and completed their first successful cardiac surgery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June, 2017.

Research: The findings from a research study conducted in a partnership with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and Addis Ababa University showed that the majority of patients (96.3%) with congenital and severe valvular heart disease in Ethiopia did not receive treatment due to the lack of available facilities and trained personnel.  This study concluded that strategies directed towards primary and secondary prevention of acute rheumatic fever need to be strengthened.  As a result of the study findings, the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health now include RHD in their NCD program

RHD Pilot Program: The RHD pilot program, a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia and local health professionals, is in the first year of a 3 year implementation.  The goals of pilot program are to improve prevention of RHD, decentralize diagnosis and care of RHD to the primary care level and register diagnosed cases of RHD.

Educational Symposia: MHIF Global Outreach has been involved in six educational symposia reaching over 250 nurses, 60 technicians and 30 cardiac surgeons.

The Future of MHIF's Global Outreach Program

Global alliances are essential to create an infrastructure that encompasses all aspects of cardiac care improvement models including education, disease prevention, treatment and research.  The successful and sustainable training, education and research that have been implemented in Ethiopia have provided a template from which we can expand to other regions.

Future Initiatives

  • Continued support and mentorship of the Cardiac Center of Ethiopia.
  • Future training initiatives for cardiac teams at Black Lion Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital in Ethiopia have been considered and discussions related to these efforts have taken place with the former governmental administration. These training initiatives are complementary to the work that the University of Cape Town and Phillips are undertaking in Ethiopia, and we would welcome the opportunity to participate.
  • Continued discussion with sites in Tanzania and Kenya to develop a training program for their cardiac teams.