Happy Women’s Day

Today we celebrate the 105th International Women’s Day. We celebrate women who have shaped the world.

Today despite many outstanding female achievements and advances, the event’s original aim of full gender parity has yet to be realized.

international womens day

So today, we continue to support those “girls” who still fight for getting access to education, health, equal conditions to work and the right to make their own decisions concerning their life!equal rights

Let us not just talk the talk, but actually make the change by respecting womankind and her invaluable contribution in society, not just for one day but everyday through our actions.Make sure you’re part of this positive moment & help accelerate gender parity worldwide.

We, in GHN would like to thank all these women, nurses, doctors, health community leaders and volunteers for their contribution. Thank you for continuous being in the front line of health care.

We wish you Happy Women’s Day!

HappyMother's Day

Are you a CHD Hero?

be-your-heart-hero-landingWhenever we hear someone is pregnant, it is a guarantee they will be asked if they want a boy or a girl and the response from the expectant parents is likely to be, “It doesn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy.” Unfortunately, there are babies that are not born healthy, but we wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Nearly 1 in 100 babies, worldwide, is born with a heart defect, making it the most common birth defect. Congenital means existing at birth, and while some may use the term “congenital heart disease,” (CHD) defect is much more accurate as the hearts of those born with CHDs did not develop normally.

While CHDs can be diagnosed in infancy or even in utero, some defects are more difficult to detect and might not be diagnosed until later in childhood or even adulthood.

Based on World Health Organization, over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries.

People in low- and middle-income countries who suffer from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases have less access to effective and equitable health care services which respond to their needs. As a result, many people in low- and middle-income countries are detected late in the course of the disease and die younger from CVDs and other noncommunicable diseases, often in their most productive years.

No matter where you live CHD is number 1 killer.

If you or someone you love is a CHD survivor, share your story. Let us know about the Hero-Fingers-Cute-miniatures-Super-Heroes-6.jpgamazing  doctors, donor and organizations who support. Help us to enhance collaboration through sharing knowledge and experience. Share your story with us in our new page dedicated to you a CHD HERO!




GHN Travel Fund – Can you help?

GHN Travel Fund – Can you help?

I need your help: Please meet a couple of our patients that have secured a place for heart surgery from their home country to go to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, Indiathanks to Dr.R.Prem Sekar, Senior Consultant Paediatric Interventional Cardiologist and his team.

Early next year the first two patients will travel to Chennai for lifesaving care. Mr Rabson Sangwani a 39 year old adult with severe mitral stenosis from Malawi, and toddler Kailyn Ibusubu needing PDA device closure (catheter treatment) from the Philippines.

Funds for the medical costs secured via Samahope crowdfunding platform, private donors and global heart network have made this happen. Further proof that Collaboration is the only path to community impact.

However, friends of GHN I need your help. I want this opportunity for both these patients and others on our waitlist to become a reality. Can you make a year-end funding to GHN’s travel fund to help us secure the travel to get there and to achieve this possibility. Every dollar matters. Will you help? GHN’s Travel Fund started 2 years ago, see https://vimeo.com/79841764 and has succesfully got patients to care.

Please help us make the dreams of these patients and others come true and contribute to our Travel Fund. Please think about a contribution however small that will provide a new lease of life to those who otherwise do not have an opportunity for this life saving surgery.

Will you please share some holiday love with us to make this possible?

Please donate via Paypal: http://bit.ly/1RzwrBM


Heartfelt thanks

Annabel and the GHN Team

Welcome Myrto to GHN

Delighted to be in San Francisco and working with GHN Board President Annabel Green-Lavielle and our First Executive Director Myrtidiotissa Nikolakou-Petropoulou on our 2016 strategy – always with the mission to increase access to cardiac care in low and middle income countries. Let’s connect! @GHeartN.  Welcome Myrto we are looking forward to you connecting with our Heart Community to move our work forward empowering and encouraging collaboration to do more, raise awareness and save lives.

Myrto Annabel photo



JOY is a single mum in Phillipines whose daughter Kaitlyn needs PDA device closure.

PRITHI is a GHN Intern who recently worked for us in Chennai at our member hospitals

Dr SEKAR is a GHN Member, and Interventional Cardiologist at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, India

The cost of the procedure is 1500 USD at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, India.We are currently working with Joy to help try to secure funding for travel to get Katilyn as fast as possible to needed care.

This is one small, yet ENORMOUS example of the GHN Network in ACTION.  It also illustrates the need for a a solid network to help each other and get patients to care where they would otherwise be unable to.

As we continue to build our network and empower collaboration we will be welcoming in December our first Executive Director/CEO, Myrto Petropoulou.  To help Myrto hit the ground running we  want you to share your ideas and help us understand GHN’s impact by completing our simple GHN IMPACT SURVEY

Share your frank opinions, ideas and advice with Global Heart Network, and help us to connect under served cardiac patients with the education, support, access and advocacy they require.  Our survey remains open until 5th November 2015.

More about Myrto in the next Newsletter!

Many thanks and please do find time to do the Survey

Visiting Chennai – an overview from GHN Intern Prithi Polavarapu

A story about GHN Intern Prithi Polavarapu and her work in Chennai, India this summer – Thank you Prithi for your engagement with GHN

Personal story

561623_4474548615969_1076826548_n I am an undergrad studying molecular cellular biology at UC Berkeley. While my primary interest lies in science, I am also looking to pursue my interest in business as I begin my career. I have thus been actively looking for an organization that would allow me to work on the management side of healthcare, and GHN has been an ideal place to do so.

How you got involved with GHN?

I first came to learn about Global Heart Network when I was looking for a full time job on my university’s career website. Thinking that I wouldn’t hear back for a while if I applied that day, I submitted my resume online to GHN. Much to my surprise, I opened my email the next morning to find a message from Annabel asking if I could interview with her at the end of the week. I was thoroughly impressed with GHN’s work and considered it an honor to have received an offer to work with Annabel. However, I was in school at the time and could not make the time for GHN during the semester. Nevertheless, I reconnected with Annabel 8 months later when I could travel to India and work on the Chennai project for GHN!

Why do you feel compelled to serve this organization?

 As I have mentioned before, the nature of this work is what drew me to it at first; healthcare management is the industry I want to work in. The wonderful thing about working for GHN is that it is both professionally and personally gratifying. The work I do is complex, yet extremely interesting and has helped me refine a lot of my skills. I am constantly motivated to face the challenges that my projects bring by just the thought that my work has the potential to save someone’s life in the future.

What is your vision for GHN?

 I see GHN expanding its work beyond India and Africa, and reaching out to as much as the under developed world as possible to save the lives of many more young children with heart disease.

 Your experience in Chennai?


Dr. Sreemati with Ranjini 3 weeks after her surgery
Dr. Sreemati with Ranjini 3 weeks after her surgery
Dr. Prem Shekar from Kauvery hospital examining a patient being helped through Samahope
Dr. Prem Shekar from Kauvery hospital examining a patient being helped through Samahope



A shot from the pediatric ward of Madras Medical Mission. Special thanks to Dr. Harapriya for showing me around
A shot from the pediatric ward of Madras Medical Mission. Special thanks to Dr. Harapriya for showing me around
Me with a couple of Dr Sreemathi’s patients
Me with a couple of Dr Sreemathi’s patients

 I had been so inspired and proud to work with Global Heart Network from the start on projects in India and Senegal, but not until I visited India was I able to fully recognize the impact that GHN was making. I was closely in touch with four hospitals this summer, Public Health Center, Madras Medical Mission, Frontier Lifeline and Kauvery hospital – all of which had doctors that were closely involved with GHN. These doctors shared GHN’s vision to reach out to as many under privileged families as they could around the Chennai area and facilitated our efforts to achieve the goal. With the help of our donor organization and these wonderful doctors, we were able to successfully help perform more than 50 surgeries in less than 6 months.

 What do you feel are the biggest barriers to increasing global access to cardiac care?

Poverty, unawareness and inefficient healthcare systems.

How do you envision an online platform (like GHN) that aims to improve communication and collaboration amongst stakeholders being able to help you achieve your goals in your respective field?

The career field I want to enter, Healthcare consulting, survives on thriving pharmaceutical companies. If GHN can achieve its fullest potential to increase access to cardiac care, it would mean that more patients are being treated and there is a greater need for more and better drugs in the world. This pushes for evolution and innovation of drugs within the pharma industry, and makes for healthier world for tomorrow’s children.


On September 29, 2015 RHD Action was launched and all of us working to increase access to cardiac care should know and contribute to this important global movement. RHD Action has a mission to end rheumatic heart disease (RHD)/ RHD Action was launched on September 29th on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  Global health experts, healthcare providers, people living with RHD and others called for new action against this easily preventable but neglected disease, which as we all know, but outreach has been unsatisfactory, is a major cause of serious illness and death among women, children and adolescents in developing countries.

The partnership has started with 3 driving forces to make this a reality: Medtronic plc, RhEACH and World Heart Federation. For more information on RHD Action, visit www.RHDaction.org.


For more information about Global Heart Network’s raising awareness about RHD in Senegal : http://bit.ly/1rZYisZ  and some of the awareness materials developed in French  brochure Version ll P1 brochure Version ll p2