January 2015 “Saving hearts in Senegal”

Faithful to Global Heart Network’s Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Vision of working together to create an efficient worldwide community focused on bridging gaps in cardiac care through education, support, access and advocacy we dedicate this January Blog to announce the start of a collaborative project in Senegal to put in place a Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Control Program.

Thanks to all your kind donations at our informal events at the fabulous restaurant in Mission San Francisco called Bissop Baobab  (Thank you Marco and team!) over December and January we are thrilled to take this initial program to modest next steps. The donations, to date at $ 5,000 will be used to start a RHD prevention and awareness campaign. Getting appropriate treatment for strep infections is the best way to prevent rheumatic heart disease.  We will therefore start, in partnership with local authorities, designing and distributing educational materials to the teachers, school children and parents of four schools in Mbour as well as to members of the District Hospital, Cases de Sante, and Postes de Sante in Mbour. Our first objectives are to:

  1. Distribute Thousands of flyers and hundreds of Posters at schools
  2. Establish educational and awareness activities in schools so that families and school children recognize RHD symptoms and find appropriate treatment
  3. Disseminate information via Radio and TV channels

RHD 1 RHD 2Following these activities it is our intention to initiate with partners an important study outlining preliminary data about the state of cardiac services in Senegal and conduct a diagnostic program in the district of Mbour.  The outcome of the study will allow government to work out the best way to approach prevention of RHD at the primary level. This study will be a continuation of the research we initiated in 2014 on “The Economic Impact of Rheumatic Heart Disease in Developing Countries,” conducted by  David Watkins, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA and Alessandra Daskalakis, Global Heart Network Foundation, San Francisco, CA, USA. The estimates developed for this paper suggest that reducing the burden of RHD could provide impressive returns on investment by increasing life expectancy and economic productivity.  Please continue to support Global Heart Network in this work. We will also continue discussions between Senegal and the Ministry of Health in Rwanda, where a similar study is currently being conducted thanks to support from the Skoll Foundation. Discussions have already started and we are grateful for our first collaboration – a RHD Prevention cartoon that is being used in schools in Rwanda that we have translated in Wolof and French for Senegal. Once again on behalf of Global Heart Network and our mission to amplify change and increase access to cardiac care across the globe our heartfelt thanks for helping us start this work for Senegal. If you were unable to be part of our recent campaign at Bissop Baobab and you would like to contribute please donate your contribution is very precious and will be used for this campaign.  Step by step we will succeed together in reducing premature death caused by RHD among children and working aged adults in Senegal. Yours truly, Thank you THE GLOBAL HEART NETWORK TEAM

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