The high incidence of Rheumatic heart disease deaths in Ethiopian teens led to the decision to begin this program, under the direction of CHSC staff physician Dr. Michelle Yates. Rheumatic Heart Disease nicked named by the world as “the disease of poverty”, affects millions of children globally. Children who do not have access to medical care often have strep throat that goes untreated. Many of these children will develop life-threatening heart conditions known as Rheumatic Heart Disease. Unfortunately, most healthcare facilities in developing countries do not screen for this problem, leaving it to be discovered only after it is too late to treat. When undiagnosed and left untreated in the early stages, heart surgery becomes the only option. However, heart surgery is not available in most poor countries. As such, these children rarely survive beyond their teen years. The Expanded Rheumatic Heart Disease Screening Program takes steps in addressing the root cause and early identification of rheumatic heart disease when it can be easily treated with penicillin. Using hand-held echocardiograph machines and training of local health workers, heart screenings are provided across this region of Ethiopia. This program provides the greatest chance for children and young adults with RHD to survive and thrive. This program identifies and treats hundreds of children each year who would otherwise not survive into their teens.
Text “Hope4Hearts” to 41444 to donate