Pediatric Heart Examination & Surgery

Progetto concluso

It is a humanitarian aid initiative with strong signs of regional solidarity and friendship between the countries. Heart examinations of children with heart defects in mainly North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Mongolia will be carried out. If necessary, children will undergo open heart surgery in Mongolia. The capacity building of cardiologists and local medical professionals is an integral part. 

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Assistenza umanitaria & RRC
Malattie non trasmissibili
Protezione, accesso & sicurezza
01.10.2023 - 31.05.2024
CHF  150’000

The treatment of severe heart defects through surgery is still not possible in Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Afghanistan and other regional countries as knowledge and capacities are not available. Mongolia is one of the few countries which has experience and a positive record of surgeries for more than 60 years.

Congenital heart defects, or diseases (CHD) are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth. It’s the most common birth defect, and the most common cause of infant death among birth defects. Doctors in developing countries often do not know why congenital heart defects occur. Globally, 8 in 1000 children are born with heart defects while in countries like Mongolia the normal number is increasing to 1 in 100 children, according to the Health Indicators Data of 2021.

The governments, hospitals and civil society organisations of mainly Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Afghanistan and other regional countries since years requested the Mongolian pediatric surgical team to carry out open heart surgeries for the children with CHD. There are long waiting lists of children with CHD in the target countries, e.g., according to former head of UNFPA Afghanistan, there are more than 8’000 children in the waiting list.

Obiettivi To improve the health of children with congenital heart defects through carrying out heart examinations of children mainly in Kyrgyzstan, North Korea Afghanistan, and Mongolia. If necessary, bring children to an Ulaanbaatar hospital for open heart surgery. 
Gruppi target
  • Children and families with congenital heart defects, or diseases of, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Mongolia 
  • Pediatric cardiologists of Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Mongolia and Afghanistan 
Effetti a medio termine
  1. Diagnostic examinations of children in Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Mongolia (for Mongolia: in remote areas) and Afghanistan. 
  2. Urgent open-heart surgeries for children with CHD of the target countries. 
  3. Capacity building of cardiologists and awareness raising about CHD in Mongolia (in particular in the rural areas) and in target countries.
  4. Awareness raising: among local communities, authorities and hospital staff regarding congenital heart disease, its diagnosis/ symptoms, after surgery care, etc.

Risultati principali attesi:  

  • Strengthening partnership with Kyrgyzstan, reestablish partnership with North Korea and Afghanistan 
  • Heart Examinations: 5 missions of heart examinations to do pre-selection for open heart surgeries for children with congenital heart defects in North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia (2 missions) and Afghanistan, are carried out by a specialized team of pediatric heart surgeons. 
  • Open Heart Surgeries: 15 open heart surgeries for children with congenital heart defects of North Korea (3 children), Kyrgyzstan (6 children), Mongolia (4 children) and Afghanistan (2 children) are conducted in Mongolia. 
  • Capacity building of cardiologists: capacity of pediatric heart surgeons and nurses of Mongolia, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan are strengthened. 
  • Exploring eventual partnership with Swiss cardiologists / children’s hospitals 

Risultati fasi precedenti:   In 2022 and 2023, with SDC support of CHF 40’000, Bundan NGO travelled to 11 remote provinces of Mongolia, namely (as Khentii and Gobi-Altai, provinces in 2022 (as Khovd, Bayan-Ulgii, and Khuvsgul provinces in 2023) and carried out heart examinations of over 1460 children and over 1435 adults, in total over 2900 examinations. 277 children underwent successful heart surgeries. 

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
ONG internazionale o straniera
  • “Bundan” NGO, Mongolia

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

- “Zurkh Martakhgui – Heart Never Forgets” NGO and its Project

- UB Songdo Hospital, Mongolia

- Medical Science University of Mongolia

- Mongolian Health insurance for Mongolian children

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia

- Embassies of Kyrgyzstan and North Korea in Mongolia;

- Embassy of Afghanistan in Beijing

-Ministry of Health of Mongolia

- Agha Khan Hospital in Kabul Afghanistan

- Mongolian Embassy in Geneva

- Swiss children’s hospital specialised in cardiac surgeries (to be explored further)

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    150’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    148’605 Progetto totale dalla prima fase Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF   150’000
Fasi del progetto

Fase 1 01.10.2023 - 31.05.2024   (Completed)