SMC’s Congenital Heart Disease Treatment Project in Cote d’Ivoire

- 13 were treated with cardiac catheterization. Local staff were trained as part of ‘treatment localization’.


SMC’s team led by Prof. Jin Young Song of Pediatrics ran a congenital heart disease treatment project at Institute Cardiologie d’Abidajan (ICA) in Cote d’Ivoire from February 6th to 12th.


The project was launched in 2014 by Prof. Song when he visited the hospital to perform cardiac catheterization. In this second visit, the team delivered training for the staff upon the hospital’s request.


This time, 13 patients were successfully treated by the team. The procedures for patent ductus arteriosus in 2014 and an atrial septal defect this year were performed for the first time in the country.


  The local staff were invited to participate in the procedures, and the SMC team gave a lecture to them to improve their skills.


While Cote d’Ivoire is known to have achieved the highest level of social and economic development in West Africa, many years of the civil war has left the country with an unstable political state and the poor quality of health care. Most patients with congenital heart defects in the country are not properly treated and have to travel to Europe for good medical care.


“Although the hospital is specialized in heart diseases and has operating rooms, a department dedicated to cardiac catheterization, and an echocardiography team, patients cannot afford the treatment and the supply of material is unstable. In this situation, cardiac catheterization can be a good solution because it doesn’t require many resources and can be remarkably effective,” Prof. Song said.

He also added, “For local patients, we will continue our outreach in the long term, focusing on surgical treatment and local staff training. With a constant flow of outside supports and training, I believe the hospital will have a good system in the future to treat congenital heart diseases independently.”