Heart surgery is the branch of medicine that has perhaps made the most progress in Italy in recent years. We have witnessed an exponential growth in heart surgery that can only be set to continue. There are more than 100 private and public heart surgery centres present in Italy, eight of which are paediatric centres. However, statistics reveal more shocking data on paediatric heart conditions.
Every year around 500,000 children are born into the world suffering from congenital heart disease and many of them are doomed to die simply because they are born in poor countries which lack adequate healthcare facilities. In actual fact the prognosis for complex heart conditions can be fatal if they are not dealt with surgically in time, in the first years, months or weeks of life.
In western countries, the likelihood of finding a good hospital, a good doctor and a good surgeon is quite high. In developing countries, on the other hand, extreme poverty and the consequent lack of adequate medical and welfare facilities still leads to very high infant mortality rates. Our Association "Un Cuore, Un Mondo" has decided to work in this field in collaboration with the Ospedale del Cuore (Heart Hospital), a centre for excellence in paediatric heart conditions. Our common goal is to save the lives of children through surgical intervention, assisting them during the critical postoperative phase and during rehabilitation, with training and refresher courses for local medical staff and with the transfer of technical expertise and know-how about medical equipment.