I met this sweet little girl on a medical mission in Tanzania this January. She is about half the size of an average 5 year old in the United States because she was born with a giant hole in her heart. Everyday activities like eating, breathing, and walking were hard for her.
I'm thrilled to tell you that the team in Tanzania was able to fix the hole in her heart! The very first thing she did when she woke up was chug an entire bottle of milk with a giant smile on her face :)
Dorire has a long road to recovery, but she is one of the lucky ones. There are thousands of children just like her.
~1 in 100 children worldwide is born with congenital heart defects, like the hole in Dorire’s heart.
~Tanzania has a population of 49 million people but only 1 pediatric cardiac surgeon and no pediatric cardiac interventionalist.
~Recent estimates say that Tanzanian hospitals have a current wait list for pediatric cardiac surgery of over 300,000 children.
This means that countless children like Dorire needing a heart procedure won’t be able to receive the care that they need to survive and thrive.
The good news is that there is an amazing team at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania who are currently building a program to address the country’s pediatric congenital heart disease needs. The team at JKCI is extremely motivated, but needs support and resources in order to provide the level of care these children need.
That's where I come in!
Starting in July 2018, I will be spending a year in Tanzania with the team at the JCKI.
My goals are to:
~Provide excellent care to all the children at the hospital
~Train the JKCI nursing team to care for children with congenital heart disease
~Coordinate frequent missions for expert cardiac teams from around the world to help the children at JKCI
~Create a sustainable education program for current and future nurses that will allow them to confidently provide care for these patients, in just 12 months!
This is where I need your help!
I believe I can have an extraordinary impact by bringing my 10+ years of experience working with some of the best pediatric cardiac departments in the world to Tanzania.
But, since Tanzania is a developing country and this is a new program, JKCI has no funding available to support my role.
Any amount you give will make a difference to me, and to the kiddos who will benefit from your help. With the funding I raise here, I will be able to stay at JKCI for a full year to train the nurses and build this program, so that together we can save more children’s lives than we ever thought possible.
- Matthew Putorti
- Amanda Balzarini
- Leah Recht
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