published: 11 September 2014
A group of U.S. children’s cardiac surgeons, members of the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF), is expected to arrive in Kyrgyzstan in November 2014 to perform free operations on children.
Kumtor Company has pledged to cover all travel, accommodation and meal expenses to the American cardiac surgeons during the Mission’s three-week stay in Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, it will pay for medical and other consumables to be purchased for purposes of such operations.
This is a project vitally important for Kyrgyzstan. More than 500 infants with congenital heart defects are born in Kyrgyzstan every year. As many as approximately 4,000 children with this kind of pathology have been registered in the Kyrgyz Republic. It should be noted that the American surgeons of ICHF have already provided free operations on Kyrgyz children in Russia, Ukraine and Iraq. These were mainly infants that Kyrgyz surgeons had refused to operate on due to complicated pathologies, lack of experience and special equipment. Parents of such children had to turn to foreign medical centers for help, meanwhile fully realizing that such travels were a huge risk to their weak children and heavy burden to their family budgets because of high travel, accommodation and meal expenses but otherwise this cannot be a solution to the problem in Kyrgyzstan. That is what motivated the Foundation’s founder and medical director, Dr. William Novick, who suggested joining effort with the Heart Surgery and Organ Transplantation Research Center (HSOTRC) at the Kyrgyz Health Protection Ministry for carrying out joint projects in the field of children’s cardiac surgery.
A team of American surgeons headed by Dr. William Novick had already been to Bishkek on a preparatory visit in June 2014. They visited the HSOTRC to learn more about the conditions created for its personnel to work and for children patients to stay. Also, they examined the equipment available in the Center.
Dr. William Novick and his fully equipped team are expected to arrive in Bishkek this November to share experience in carrying out operations on children suffering from complicated heart pathologies. The team of 15-17 doctors is reported to include the cardiac surgeons, as well as an anaesthetist, perfusionist, cardiologist, operating-room nurse and other specialists. Also, the team is supposed to bring along necessary medicines and equipment which later will be donated to the children’s department of the hospital.
A total of 30 operations are expected to be performed during the ICHF stay in Kyrgyzstan. Children from various regions of Kyrgyzstan, including those from indigent families, will be operated on for free while Kyrgyz surgeons are supposed to gain international experience in performing complicated heart surgeries.
“Kumtor Company agreed to support this good initiative at once. What can there be a more important thing than participation in saving children’s lives? I’m sure, the ICHF Mission will elevate heart surgery in Kyrgyzstan to higher standards. This would have beneficial effects on the situation in treatment of children with congenital heart defects and, hence, hundreds of children’s lives would be saved,” commented President of Kumtor Gold Company Michael Fischer.
For Reference: The International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF), located in Memphis, U.S.A., was organized 20 years ago. To date, dozens of volunteer doctors from many countries of the world have taken part in the Foundation’s initiatives. They have performed more than 7,000 operations in over 30 countries all over the globe. Last year alone, ICHF surgeons worked in Ecuador, Macedonia , the Dominican Republic, Russia, Iraq, Libya, Honduras Nicaragua, Belorussia, and Ukraine. Side by side with them, local surgeons were working to acquire advanced methods of open heart surgery on children. This kind of operations (there are more than 200 such types) are regarded as extremely difficult to perform, ones that require high expertise and special equipment.