Implementation of a Population Health Program for Congenital Heart Disease

Published November 12, 2021

Children’s HeartLink is excited to share our original research on the Implementation of a Population Health Program for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in Kerala, India* was published in October 2021.

The Children’s HeartLink initiative with the Kerala Government and Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) began in the summer of 2017. As outlined in the New Initiative with Indian Government Will Help Us Reach More Children in 2017, the program aimed to improve early diagnosis, management and care of children with CHD. To our knowledge, this is the first such program for CHD services integration in primary care in a low- and middle-income country.

AIMS, the first Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence, had one of the established pediatric heart surgery programs with the ability to perform infant and neonatal surgery in the state of Kerala. As a result, they were well positioned to be one of the key training collaborators in this project. Throughout the project, the Kerala Government made significant investments in the infrastructure and upskilling health care workers to assure patient referrals happened fast and on time.

In 2020, Our Partners Help to Reduce Infant Deaths in Kerala, India highlighted the positive impact the program was having on reducing the rate of infant deaths in the state.

*Nair SM, Zheleva B, Dobrzycka A, Hesslein P, Sadanandan R, Kumar RK. A Population Health Approach to Address the Burden of Congenital Heart Disease in Kerala, India. Global Heart. 2021; 16(1): 71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/gh.1034