Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Developing Countries of Africa: Current State and Future Direction
Lee, Kyongjune Benjamin
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Surgical services are often the most neglected part of medical care in developing countries of Africa. Cardiac surgical care is even less accessible in comparison due to its need for highly skilled individuals and sophisticated equipment. This lack of proper care places the pediatric population affected by cardiac conditions without much hope for the future. Combining my clinical experience overseas with an extensive literature review, I examined the current state of pediatric cardiac surgery in several developing countries of Africa, and possible future efforts for establishing a viable cardiac surgery centers in low-resource settings. I examined in detail the two most prominent cardiac conditions in the developing world: congenital heart disease and rheumatic heart disease. The review of literature showed that cardiac surgical care is a serious need in many developing countries. It also revealed that with careful long-term international collaboration between institutions, a self-sustainable and economically viable cardiac surgical center with reasonable outcome can be established.