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2020 Côte d'Ivoire Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Capacity-Building Program

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Date20-02-10 14:04 Hit422


Seoul National University College of Medicine, JW LEE Center for Global Medicine (Director Woong Han Kim) visited Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from January 25th (Sat) to February 1st (Wed) in order to carry out pediatric cardiac surgery and local medical staff training. During this year’s “2020 Côte d'Ivoire Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Capacity-Building Program,” 11 pediatric patients received medical procedure, 1 patient received cardiac catheterization screening and 11 patients received cardiac catheterization interventions from the team of Korean and local medical staff. 


<2020 Côte d'Ivoire Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Capacity-Building Program team> 

 14 Korean medical staff from the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatrics, ICU Nurse, and Perfusion provided their expertise and skills on every step of the surgery from preparation to post operation care. One of the patients, Stella (1y.o.), was on the wait list for surgery for a year. Not being able to afford the high cost of surgery initially, Stella’s family heard the news about Korean medical team’s visit to the hospital and was able to receive the surgery. 


<Group photo with ​Institute De Cardiologie D’abidjan medical team> 

 “We visited the hospital so many times up until my child received the surgery. Now, we don’t have to anymore. I’m very grateful to the Korean medical staff who gave their best to save my child that doesn’t even weight over 10kg,” said the mother of another patient, Nda (10 mon), with a smile of relief. 

 “This was our second visit to Côte d'Ivoire, and I think this time around, the local staff was more open and cooperative with us. It is very important for pediatric patients with heart disease to receive surgery within certain window, and if they miss it, it’s basically a death sentence for them. All of the patients wouldn’t have been able to survive after 1 year, had it not been for the surgery because of complex congenital heart disease and pulmonary artery hypertension. I hope we can expand the collaboration and training to continue develop the program, and eventually make Abidjan Cardiac Center the heart of cardiac center in Africa,” said Woong Han Kim, the director of JW LEE Center for Global Medicine. 


<Education before operation starting>

 “Even if there are enough resources, they are used ineffectively due to the lack of skills and trainings of the local staff. That’s exactly why program like this is so important,” said Professor Jin Young Song, who has been continuously working with Abidjan Cardiac Center for the past 16 years.


<Pediatric Procedure>

 “There is only 1 perfusionist in our Center, and he is about to retire soon. In addition, the lack of trained medical staff in pediactric cardiac surgery shows the need for long-term project, rather than the short-term. It is also necessary from our end to open an English course to improve the communication among the staff and expand educational opportunities,” said Seka, the Director of Abidjan Cardiac Center who showed the passion for education. 

 During the visit, the JW LEE Center was also able to meet with the Korean ambassador Sang Yeol Lee, and the deputy director of KOICA Côte d'Ivoire office to discuss about the future direction of the project and support from Korean government.


<Dinner at Embassy house of the Repulic of Korea in Côte d'Ivoire>

 JW LEE Center for Global Medicine’s “Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Capacity-Building Program” is a global health project that aims to build up a capacity of local cardiac surgery team and develop a sustainable cardiac surgery infrastructure. Côte d'Ivoire Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Capacity-Building Program started in 2019, and it was Center’s 2nd visit this year.

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