For Healthy Smile of Children in Mongolia
SMC’s Heart to Heart Medical Outreach Team, which is led by Prof. Tae-gook Jun at Cardio Surgery, Prof. Jeong-meen Seo at Pediatric Surgery, and I-seok Kang at Pediatrics, carried out medical outreach at the National Centre for Maternal and Children's Health (NCMCH) for three days from 29th September to 3rd October, 2015.
As part of SMC and Samsung Electronics’ joint Heart to Heart II initiative, SMC has provided voluntary medical service for children in the Central Asia since 2013.
It was the fifth visit by the team for pediatric surgery and the first visit for cardiac surgery. During the visit, the team performed a total of 20 operations and procedures including seven cardiac operations, six cardiac procedures, and seven surgical operations.
The Heart to Heart II initiative, which is a medical outreach project for pediatric patients and doctors in the developing world that falls behind in the quality of medical services and supports, is mainly focused on Kazakhstan and Mongolia in the Central Asia and follows the Heart to Heart I initiative, which targeted Vietnam between 2003 and 2010.
The last destination, Ulaanbaatar, lacks a medical staff, facilities, and equipment for pediatric patients, and thus, many children’s lives are in danger without timely medical attentions.
As the news that SMC’s team was visiting the Center was spreading, it was crowded with numerous patients.
Despite adverse conditions at the Center, the outreach team successfully treated a number of patients by mobilizing specialists in pediatric surgery, thoracic surgery, pediatrics, and anesthesiology, ICU and surgery nurse specialists, and medical instruments such as laparoscopes.
As part of the service from the Division of Cardio Surgery, children in lethal conditions received palliative emergency surgery. They will be later invited to Korea or visited by the team for follow-up surgery. Having taking care of seven cases of heart surgery, the team set a record as the first ever heart surgery performed at the Center and the first ever heart surgery of a children under 5kg in Mongolia.
At the same time, the pediatric surgery team successfully performed the first laparoscopy in Mongolia to conditions such as anorectal malformation and hernia.
“Mongolia doesn’t have subdivisions in pediatrics and enough children’s hospitals,” said Prof. Seo. “Despite the tough conditions, if we support them consistently based on the previous experience from the initiative, the quality of medical service in the country will improve and local children will be able to receive treatment they need.”
Prof. Jun, who performed the heart surgery, said, “Medical support for Mongolia is very urgent. Along with financial supports, training of local medical workers is essential. Next year, we will invite the local medical staff who can participate in surgery and train them so that they can perform it on their own and take care of their patients properly.”
On 20th October, 2015, SMC signed an MOU with the Center with an aim to promote a close partnership to introduce more medical instruments, train the medical staff better, and treat the patients more successfully in Mongolia.