In a recent “60 Minutes” piece, CBS reporter Clarissa Ward visited EMERGENCY’s hospitals in Sierra Leone and Sudan to follow the story of two young girls affected by rheumatic heart disease, who needed to undergo urgent open heart surgery.
While this disease, caused by a simple strep throat, has been eradicated in the West thanks to the use of common antibiotics, it is still ravaging the African continent and killing more than 300,000 people a year. It’s for this reason that Gino Strada and EMERGENCY decided to build a state-of-the-art cardiac surgery center in the heart of Africa.
Stories like those of Mariata and Sufiatu are a powerful testimony to the work done by the EMERGENCY staff. Both girls contracted heart rheumatic disease and, in the words of Dr. Gino Strada, were living with a “bomb” inside. After being diagnosed the serious condition at our hospital in Sierra Leone, they were rushed to the Salaam Center and operated on by Dr. Gino Strada himself. Clarissa Ward and her team were invited to witness the open heart surgery.
Today Mariata and Sufiata are doing and visiting our Sierra Leone’s hospital regularly for check-ups as the medical coordinator at the Surgical Center in Goderich, Luca Rolla has confirmed. However, many more kids still need our help. You can contribute to the our effort at the Salaam Center in Sudan by donating here.
To watch the full CBS piece on “60 minutes” click here.
If you are interested in the future of health in Sierra Leone please join us a for a online conversation with Emergency USA executive director Eric Talbert, Former Sierra Leone Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Chief Government Spokesperson Cecile Blake and TV Personality & Actress Nzinga Blake on May 20, 2014 at 10 am PT/ 1 pm ET. Sign-up here.