Medical Care for Young Patients with Congenital Heart Diseases

Project location: ETHIOPIA
Project start date: January 2004 - Project end date: December 2004
Project number: 2003-52
Beneficiary: MILENA ONLUS

A study of congenital diseases of cardiovascular organs in young Ethiopians

The Nando Peretti Foundation has funded a project to scientifically assess the clinical situation of the actual sanitary condition of the young Ethiopian population (between 5 to 15 years old) from a cardiologic point of view on a random base, in one or more Ethiopian towns, with a high density of population (e.g. Addis-Ababa, Gondar, Bahar-Dar etc.).

Milena is an association which supports the research for cardiomiopathy. Those diseases, known for 40 years, are often originated by a genetic mechanism that affects the heart. Milena was a 26 years old girl born in Ethiopia, with a special love for life and with a deep generosity towards the people that surrounded her. Milena had a particular disease that affected all her organs which originated from a specific genetic mutation: this kind of genetic mutation in her own DNA implies that all the body organs are defected, because this gene is in all body tissues.

Milena is an ONLUS that works in the sanitary field for social solidarity, in scientific research, in sanitary education and assistance together with the development of the sanitary culture for this kind of diseases. The organization has supported scholarships for doctors and nurses specialized in cardiology and promoted researches and meetings on cardiological themes both on national and international level. Finally the main objective is to create, develop and sustain project plans in various medical centers in the world in order to deepen the knowledge of cardiological diseases in paediatric and adult patients. 

The Nando Peretti Foundation has donated a grant to Milena to purchase cardiological instruments such as a portable electrocardiography, a transtoracic echocardiography, all the items for ambulatory use (like sphygmomanometer, phonendoscopy, thermometer etc.) as well as a personal computer with a printer and Internet access. Moreover the Nando Peretti Foundation paid the salary for a local medical doctor specialized in cardiology, a local nurse, a local coordinator of the project for the nine months of the project. Each patient will freely receive a clinical report after the clinical evaluation.

The results that will come from this study will allow an evaluation on the health status of the young Ethiopian population in the targeted areas. More in detail, this analysis will give a statistic view on how many people have heart problems as well as a better knowledge of the diseases they are affected from. All the information an data collected will give the possibility to establish who are the patients that require a further hemodinamic evaluation in the dedicated cardiological centers in Italy (e.g. San Camillo Hospital in Rome, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome).

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