Saturday, April 5, 2008

Heart Failure in Rwanda

Heart failure leaves thousands of young Rwandans gasping for breath and slowly suffocating for years on the brink of death with little access to the life-saving surgery they desperately need.
The heart failure patients Team Heart will operate on beginning this weekend were screened and identified by cardiologist Gene Buhkman, MD, of Partners In Health (PIH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who works six months of the year in Rwanda treating patients. PIH first became involved in Rwanda in 2005, working with the support of the government to improve the country’s rural health systems. “We found that a huge portion of the patients we saw in the hospitals and clinics had heart failure,” Bukhman said. “The causes of the disease here are very different than in Boston and the rest of the U.S., where most heart failure patients are elderly.” Read the complete article.
Above, Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, left, and Dr. Gene Bukhman at King Faisal Hospital

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