Working in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, and the Rwanda Heart Foundation, and global partners, TeamHeart will address the burden of cardiac disease:
To address the suffering of adolescents and young adults afflicted with advanced rheumatic and congenital heart disease in Rwanda with surgical intervention to return to a productive and fulfilling life.
To work with the medical and nursing staff in Rwanda to establish a sustainable regional center of excellence in cardiac care for children and adults.
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 a scalable model in sub-Saharan Africa.
1. Cardiac Surgery: Now in our eighth year, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (BWH/MGH) based TeamHeart (TH) will continue to work with the Ministry of Health, and local medical personnel to establish a sustainable independent cardiac surgery center in Rwanda to address the surgical burden of all types cardiac disease requiring surgical intervention.
2. Rheumatic and Congenital Heart Disease Registries: Working together with the Ministry of Health, the Rwandan Heart Foundation, TH will identify register and implement a care-delivery system for those patients requiring surgical care. Those with milder forms of rheumatic heart disease who need secondary prophylaxis, will be followed with a goal to prevent the progression of disease. Patients with CHD and RHD awaiting surgical intervention will be placed on national waiting list to facilitate referral for care.
3. Management of Cardiac Disease: To prevent rheumatic fever (RF), and thereby progression to rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a collaborative project will improve management of all aspects of streptococcal infections in a region that has been identified with a presumed high rate of disease. Identification, early intervention, prevention and post operative follow up will be the focus of the first outreach clinics in the country devoted to cardiac disease.