Rheumatic Heart Disease Program in Zambia

The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) is working with Lusaka University Teaching Hospital and the Zambian Ministry of Health in partnership with the University of Cape Town and Massachusetts General Hospital to combat rheumatic heart disease.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Program in Zambia

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.


  • Novartis AG

    Goods Supplier
    Switzerland | Staff size: 10,000+

    Novartis AG, was incorporated on 1996, provides healthcare solutions. The Company is a multinational group of companies specializing in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of...

  • Lusaka University

    Zambia | Staff size: 101-250

    The University of Lusaka (UNILUS) is a modern private university established under the University Act No. 11 of 1999. The University commenced its operations in 2007, initially as Institute of...

  • Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

    Service Providers
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    The third oldest general hospital in the United States and the oldest and largest hospital in New England, Mass General continues its tradition of excellence today.

    Mass General has...

  • University of Cape Town

    South Africa | Staff size: Unknown

    The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions.

    UCT aspires to become a premier academic meeting...

  • Zambia Ministry of Health

    Staff size: Unknown

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Key Information

LocationSouthern Africa, Zambia
  • Start Date 2014