EMERGENCY recently conducted its first cardiac screening mission in Somalia. Our cardiologist Mimmo, and Ensaf, Regional Programme Assistant, travelled to Mogadishu to carry out cardiological examinations and identify patients to undergo free-of-charge surgical treatment at EMERGENCY’s Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan.
“The patients we saw are between 8 and 35 years old,” explains Mimmo. “We primarily identify cases of rheumatic heart disease, which in advanced stages forces the replacement of heart valves.”
The situation in Somalia
Suffering from insecurity and frequent terrorist attacks for many years, Somalia is now experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis. Health services are increasingly in need of support to meet the population’s needs.
Our aim, in agreement with the country’s health authorities, is to support the local healthcare system and offer treatment to patients who would otherwise be excluded.
The mission is a new step for our Regional Programme for Cardiac Surgery, which was formed to ensure access to care throughout the African continent, and to offer training to local medical staff.
Ensuring continuity of care by supporting the local health system
After the cardiac screening phase, patients who are candidates for cardiac surgery will receive an evaluation by our surgical team in Sudan. Once transferred to the Salam Centre, they will undergo free, high-quality surgery.
At a later stage, once the post-operative assessment phase is over, patients will then return to Somalia and be able to count on the continuity of care that EMERGENCY provides through follow-up missions and the long-term dispatch of medication that we will deliver free of charge.
The collaboration between EMERGENCY and the Somali Ministry of Health has been finalised with a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding. This follows an agreement signed after the last meeting of the African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME), which took place last May in Entebbe, Uganda, which was attended by representatives of 12 African countries.