China California Heart Watch

The China California Heart Watch brings together experts from the United States, China, and around the world. Together, we use innovative and sustainable methods to combat the growing epidemic of heart disease in Yunnan Province, China. Our overarching mission is to serve the people of Yunnan through: (1) Training local healthcare professionals in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease; (2) Improving access to high-quality healthcare and life-saving treatments; (3) Researching the epidemiology of heart disease, the effectiveness of our interventions, and other topics of critical value to rural Chinese populations. The activities of the China California Heart Watch generate ...
Mar 22, 2016

Updates on Our Life-Saving Training Program

Fang Qi Guo trains rural doctors and nurses
Fang Qi Guo trains rural doctors and nurses

Our newborn training has now reached hundreds of impoverished rural county hospitals and has already saved scores of lives of newborns. We visit up to 15 such county hospitals in a single month.

Our training team consists of a public health expert, a senior cardiologist, a cardiology fellow, two assistants, and several volunteers. They arrive at the county hospital in the morning, usually at 8 AM. The entire team immediately meets with the Hospital Director, the Director of Obstetrics, the Director of Nursing, the Director of Pediatrics and the Director of Ultrasound. The public health expert explains the training protocol at this meeting.

After this initial meeting, we split into a training group and a clinical care group. The training group (consisting of the public health doctor, cardiology fellow, one staff member and volunteers) goes to the obstetrics ward and trains all doctors and nurses how to do proper newborn exams. Training uses both models and newborn infants.

The table included in this report shows the percentages of newborns undergoing correct cardiac screening in the counties we have visited.

To date, we have trained more than 400 trainees and have exceeded the 300 we had expected to train by now. At the end of 2015, we completed training in 5 of the 16 prefectures in Yunnan. By the end of 2016, we will have completed training in an additional 8 prefectures.

Our vital work is only possible through your generous contributions. We encourage you to make another donation today.

Dec 21, 2015

Holiday Updates from the Field

Village doctors practice pulse oximetry
Village doctors practice pulse oximetry

The training and continued education of village doctors in Yunnan Province is a core part of the China California Heart Watch's mission.

Roughly half of China's population, a group approximately twice the size of the population of the United States, still lives in rural villages. Though the number of village doctors working in rural Yunnan is stable, they remain poorly trained in newborn screening for congenital diseases, especially those of the heart. About three in every 1000 babies born in Yunnan Province are born with a kind of fatal heart disease that is curable only if diagnosed in the newborn period. Underinvestment in healthcare in Western China, particularly in Yunnan Province, has meant that almost all of these newborn babies die within their first month of life. With your support, we are providing the training that doctors in Yunnan need to properly detect heart curable heart defects.

Between July 1 and December 31st of this year, we will have trained approximately 500 obstetricians and OB nurses in approximately 45 rural county hospitals. Training includes the important aspect of stethoscope and pulse oximetry exmination of the newborn heart. Training occurs in the obstetric wards of the hospitals and includes lectures, practical training on a model baby and training on at least four or five newborns in the newborn unit. Our trainers include one expert on pulse oximetry and a cardiologist from Kunming Medical University First Affiliate Hospital, as well as two assistants and sometimes volunteer students from China and around the world.

Our ambitions are large: to train every village doctor and obstetrician in Yunnan in the proper, most up-to-date screening methods. However, we need your continued support. Please consider reaching out to your friends and colleagues at work to let them know about the mission of the China California Heart Watch and our important goals in Yunnan.

Thank you for your continued support, and happy holidays.

Robert Detrano, Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Zhao trains a nurse in newborn auscultation
Dr. Zhao trains a nurse in newborn auscultation
Using a model to train doctors and nurses
Using a model to train doctors and nurses

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Dec 10, 2015

Little Peng and Little Yang Have Hope Because of You

Little Peng
Little Peng

This fall, two children came to the China California Heart Watch clinics in Yunnan with complex, expensive, and hard-to-repair heart disease. The Chinese Red Cross Organization and other foundations turned down surgical support for these children due to high cost and risk. Their stories are shared below. Simply put, we want to give these children the gift of life this holiday season. To do so, we need an additional $10,200 this holiday season to cover the costs. Through our campaign on Global Giving, we are hoping to raise the funds to cover their surgeries by December 31st. This would allow the children to undergo surgery the first or second week of 2016.

The first child that came to us was Little Peng, who is 7 years old. He lives in Teng Chong County in Bao Shan Prefecture, Yunnan. His father and mother are both poor farmers. Their total yearly income is 10,000 RMB (~$1,600 USD). Little Peng was born without one of his four heart valves. This is a very severe kind of heart disease that should be corrected in infancy. Little Peng is lucky because the nature of his heart disease is such that, even at this relatively late age, it can be cured with surgery. The operation for this kind of heart disease costs about 50,000 RMB (~$8,000 USD) or about five years worth of income for this family. This surgery is only partially covered by rural health insurance (10%) and not at all by Chinese charitable foundations. We need $7,000 to fund Little Peng's surgery.

The second child that came to us is Little Yang, who is 12 years old. She also lives in Teng Chong County. Little Yang was born with a big hole in the middle of her heart. This is a very severe kind of heart disease but it is curable with a single operation. The total cost of her operation will be $3,200. Her parents are also farmers and are unable to afford the operation. She is relying on us to gather the funds to provide her with a cure.

We thank you for your continued support of our organization and the children of Yunnan, and we wish you the very best this holiday season. Please consider another gift today, and please tell your colleauges, friends and family about our mission to cure heart disease in Yunnan, China.

Little Yang
Little Yang

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