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Over 1,000 healthcare workers to be trained on diagnosing and treating heart disease in children

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital and Rotary International District 9212 have launched a 5-year partnership to train healthcare workers to provide high-quality cardiac care & treatment in the country, at a cost of Sh50 million.

According to the two parties, the program aims to train an initial multi-disciplinary specialist team, which includes pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric perfusionists, and pediatric cardiac nurses to improve local capacity to provide care to children with heart disease.

The program also includes training of frontline healthcare workers in the counties to sensitize on heart disease in children in a bid to improve early diagnosis and treatment.

Speaking during the announcement, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital CEO Dr. Robert Nyarango indicated that due to the inadequate number of specialists to provide pediatric cardiac treatment in the country, few children are able to afford to travel abroad for cardiac surgery.

In addition, surgeries provided by specialists that fly into the country for “mission camps” are useful in the short term but are counterproductive as they impede the development of local skills and capacity. Heart surgeries are high-risk procedures and specialized skill is required. Developing robust local capacity and skills is critical to long term sustainability.

On his part, Rotary International District 9212 Governor 2019-2020, Rotarian Joe Otin, outlined Rotary’s commitment to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

“Healthcare workers around the country are crucial to the survival of children with heart disease, especially now that we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware that children with underlying disease are at risk of severe symptoms of the disease. With proper treatment, more than 80 percent of children with heart disease can be cured and live a normal life. Through this partnership, we will increase local health capacity to treat and manage heart conditions.”


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