Lifesaving heart surgeries for children and hands-on training for doctors and nurses is our main focus, but we also have a doctor on staff and care for ISIS victims in a variety of other ways to meet their unique needs. This includes clinics, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, trauma counseling, and more.
A Remedy Mission is a short-term, pediatric cardiac surgery and training mission providing hands-on training to local medical teams and lifesaving heart surgeries to children. Each mission provides anywhere from 15-25 lifesaving operations, and each lifesaving operation provides dozens of hours of training for local Iraqi doctors and nurses, so Remedy Missions save hundreds of lives while providing thousands of hours of essential training every year.
Remedy Fellowship is a year-long program that brings international medical teams into a country to train local doctors and nurses in their own hospitals. The consistency and longevity of this program is proving to be a successful model for training and has also doubled our surgical output since its conception in Aug 2012.
Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common birth defect in the world. In some Iraqi cities, the rate of babies born with CHD is 10x higher than the global average. In many cases, treatment requires a complex open heart surgery, and the long line children in need of these lifesaving surgeries increases each year. Without surgery, many of these children will die before they reach adulthood.
Yes, we do. Our model assumes quarterly visits to each program site (a hospital inside a regional hub). Our reliance on local cardiologists and medical teams ensures that each local hospital prioritizes and sets the agenda for patient selection (within development curricula)—after all, local doctors are the ones who are most intimately connected to the patients and their daily progress.
When a local cardiologist sees a child who has either (1) deteriorated and requires another intervention or (2) advanced as expected to the next step of a complex, staged intervention, the cardiologist prioritizes the child for follow-up treatment.
Each year we work with our international medical partners to continually increase the total number of pediatric cardiac surgeries done locally. In Iraq, Ministry of Health officials speculate 500 surgeries were accomplished in 2009 (of which we provided 23, or 4.6%, outside the country). The addition of our 82 surgeries in 2010 to the 500 baseline for a total of 582 approximated surgeries, represents an increase created by PLC of 14% over 2009. In 2011, we increased Iraq’s total number of pediatric cardiac surgeries to at least 719, and in 2012 we increased the total to at least 1,300. Since adopting the Remedy Mission model, our number of surgeries has doubled every year. The local teams we work with become more proficient each year. They will begin to take on a larger caseload than they could have in the previous year. None of these figures yet account for the additional output their training produces.
In March 2010, the Iraqi Ministry of Health asked us to expand our work to three additional sites. We are currently working in various ways to develop care across the country, with specific efforts initiated or sustained across seven sites. In August 2012, we launched the Remedy Fellowship Program, in which international surgeons and nurses take up residence in the Iraqi system to train local medical teams for 48 weeks out of the year.
View Our Impact page to see more of what you have helped us accomplish to date.