New cardiac collaboration Kiev Heart Center

Posted on January 31, 2018 by DV

Prof. A. Kalangos and Prof B. Todurov signed a memorandum of understanding on May 13th 2016, with regard to the humanitarian cardiac surgical program sponsored by the “Kalangos Foundation”. The Minister of Health of Ukraine and the representative of the Turkish Minister of Health, Dr. Murat Parpucu have attended the ceremony and expressed their support. Children referred from different developing countries would be treated on a humanitarian basis at the Heart Center of Kiev by Prof A. Kalangos and the Center’s medical and paramedical staff.

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The inequality between North and South is widening every day. Developing countries face a chronic shortfall in financial, technological and human resources, a heavy burden of widespread communicable disease and the devastating consequences of socio-political conflicts. To these, globalization and new lifestyles have added in recent years the rapid emergence of “diseases of affluence”, among which cardiovascular conditions feature as the most life threatening.

There are currently between 8 and 24 million children in the world who were born with congenital malformations, half of whom will die of lack of care before reaching their second birthday. Among the survivors, 5 million, mostly in poor countries, are in desperate need of open-heart surgery. Notably, in addition to it, has been estimated that in Low-and Middle Income countries approximately 90% of children with heart disease do not have access to cardiovascular centers. For how long will they have to wait? This issue calls for immediate action.

Cardiovascular diseases are rapidly emerging as a major threat for the health of populations in the developing world. They could offer both a challenge and an opportunity and the international community fully understands that by organizing the response now, at the point of emergence, we can prevent them turning into a widespread disaster.

While in the United States there is one cardiovascular center for every 120.000 people, Asia has only one for 16 million people and Africa one for 33 million. Globally, 4.5 billion do not have access to such cardiovascular surgical care.

In spite of the vast numbers of individuals and organizations scattered all over the world, who deploy relentless humanitarian efforts to tackle this problem, we cannot foresee any marked progress in the near future. It is therefore urgent that around 80 NGO’s currently specializing in pediatric cardiac care throughout the world (according to a recent survey in 92 countries), international organizations such as the WHO, the Word Bank or the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as the very supportive medical and pharmaceutical industries create a consensual approach and undertake globally agreed upon action to fight cardiovascular diseases.

This is the purpose of the Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery (GF): that we join all our forces in the struggle to close the gaping disparity between the medical skills and technology of the North and those of the South, and thus make our contribution towards a more equitable world.

Professor Afksendiyos Kalangos and Dr Jan T. Christenson founded the Global Forum in Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery (GF) in 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland. The first GF was held in May 2003. The GF was under the patronage of the local NGO Coeur pour Tous in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum discusses how to best cooperate and assist in capacity building within the health sector of the South, and is reflecting on the achievements and failures of the past in order to create the vision that would ensure the success of partnerships and collaborative efforts.
It also identifies sectors of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery that must be developed in emerging countries in order to check the steady advancement of heart disease in children. This includes education, research and training through various programs such as the International Quality Improvement Collaborative (IQIC) for Congenital Heart Disease: Improving Care in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries.

In 2018 we have a joint Conference with the 3rd Euro-Asian Symposium of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery to attract more cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to be involved in this humanitarian effort.

The Organizing Committee of the 12th GF and the 3rd Euro-Asian Symposium of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery warmly welcomes you to Athens, Greece in April 2018 and looks forward to intensive and fruitful discussion during the conference.