Not enough is known about Rheumatic Heart Disease.
There are 15.6 million people worldwide living with the consequences of rheumatic heart disease. Most of these people live in areas with severe social and economic challenges.
Disability from heart failure
Maternal and infant mortality
The tragedy is that with early detection and proper treatment many of these devastating complications can be prevented.
Early detection is best provided by ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography)
So Echo in Africa will have three major research projects attached to its program of screening
To establish the frequency and severity of early stage rheumatic heart disease in disadvantaged children in the Western Cape.
To establish whether handheld echo devices can offer an equally accurate assessment for rheumatic heart disease.
To validate simple and abbreviated scan protocols that might be suitable to use for field screening, by non sonographers and therefore extend the possibility of early detection to rural and isolated communities.
Because Echo in Africa will scan many children, it will have the power to answer these questions, which will be of lasting value, to future programs.