8 out of 1000 children are born with congenital heart disease. Most congenital heart diseases can be treated with surgery or invasive methods, and the majority of these children can continue their life as their peers after treatment. In case of no specific treatment, these children face life-threatening risks and could die at a young age. Appropriate diagnosis on the right time and access to proper treatment are crucial for children with congenital heart diseases and their families.
Afksendiyos Kalangos travels worldwide with his volunteer healthcare team. They provide cardiac care to children suffering from heart diseases in low- and middle-income countries that do not have access to adequate local health care. So far, they have set up humanitarian cardiac care programs in Georgia, Eritrea, Mozambique, Lebanon, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, China, Serbia, Moldova, Cyprus, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Morocco, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus and have treated more than 17,000 children suffering from congenital heart diseases in more than 20 countries.
In 2003, the Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery was launched in Geneva. The Forum aims to bring together medical and paramedical teams from low- and middle-income countries to share views on humanitarian policies and global expertise on the latest technological developments achieved in modern cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.1