New technology is revolutionizing the way doctors can identify and care for children with rheumatic heart disease. Portable echocardiography machines create ultrasound images of the heart that can show tissue damage even before symptoms appear.
Using this new technology, starting in 2014, up to 10,000 schoolchildren in Lusaka are being screened. Children diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease will be offered monthly penicillin injections donated by Sandoz to the university hospital. And the results of the screening will, for the first time, indicate the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in a Zambian population using echocardiography.
To help ensure patients receive their monthly injections, local doctors plan to use a new electronic registry to track patients and send automatic SMS reminders to their mobile phones when it is time for treatment. NIBR will also support efforts of the local doctors to strengthen health systems in Lusaka to help children with strep throat receive the treatment they need. Only then can new cases of rheumatic heart disease be prevented.
|Location||Southern Africa, Zambia|