Children’s HeartLink + Heart University Develops Lectures on Heart Care in Low-Income Countries

Children’s HeartLink has been partnering with Heart University, a free education resource on heart disease, to develop a lecture series on pediatric cardiac care in low-resource countries.

“The goal is to develop a series of lectures focused on the specifics and challenges of management of pediatric and congenital heart disease in resource-limited settings. We hope it can supplement pediatric and congenital cardiac education around the world,” says Children’s HeartLink’s Vice President of Global Strategy and Advocacy Bistra Zheleva.

A series of virtual topical discussions is led by Children’s Heartlink Centers of Excellence in India, Malaysia and China, and our medical volunteers from top medical institutions around the world.

“We believe this partnership with Heart University’s Pediatric and Congenital Learning Center will not only enhance the educational offering to Children’s HeartLink partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam but also will build content for others in countries where Children’s HeartLink is not currently active,” adds Zheleva.

Since 2020, eight lectures have been recorded and can be accessed on the Heart University website after free registration. Among them are courses on general principles of delivering care with limited resources; introduction to pediatric and congenital cardiac care in resource-limited settings; cyanotic heart disease; pulmonary hypertension and etc.

Why this matters

In recent years, advances in pediatric cardiac services have reduced deaths and led to good long-term outcomes for most children born with congenital heart disease. (CHD)

Yet, thousands of children born in lower-resourced areas do not have access to these services, resulting in early deaths or complications from heart disease left untreated or misdiagnosed. About 9 in 10 children born with CHD don’t have access to high-quality care. To complicate matters, these children frequently suffer from poor nutrition, infections and other comorbidities, which present challenges to their treatment for heart disease. In addition, the relatively higher investment that is needed in training pediatric cardiac specialists, development of infrastructure, and access to medicines, supplies and equipment have prevented many countries from developing these vital services, which makes them inaccessible to most.

Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. Founded in 1969, we currently train and support 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. After enhancing their own pediatric cardiac programs with the help of our medical volunteers, our global partners become Centers of Excellence to teach others. Even in this challenging time, our medical volunteers trained over 4,300 professionals and helped more than 122,000 children worldwide.

Heart University is a free online global education resource and training tool with a focus on congenital and acquired heart disease. Funded by Cincinnati Children’s, this platform includes 1,200 courses created by top experts in the field.

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We would like to also highlight other existing educational lectures and materials on the Heart University website that can be helpful to any program that provides pediatric cardiology post-graduate education: