Over 1,000 babies with potentially fatal heart complications are born in Georgia annually.They can be saved if screened and diagnosed within 48 hours of birth. Thanks to your support, the first phase of the newborn heart screening program in Tbilisi has now been fully sustained by the Ministry of Health! However, other infants in the country are still in urgent need of this life-saving screening program, particularly in the Kvemo Kartli region - an area where newborns are especially vulnerable.
Worldwide, 270,000 newborns die annually from birth defects. In the country of Georgia more than 1,000 babies are born with potentially fatal heart defects each year. Many babies born with heart defects appear healthy at birth, only to sicken and die after leaving their birth hospitals. The Georgian Health Ministry is now sustaining RVF's screening program in the capital, Tbilisi, but Georgia desperately needs a heart screening program for all its babies, beginning with the Kvemo Kartli region.
Babies born with heart defects can be stabilized and successfully treated if diagnosed in the first 48 hours of life. This program provides heart screening equipment and training of doctors and nurses, so that babies with heart defects are identified immediately. Heart screening uses pulse oximetry- a safe, painless and non-invasive diagnostic tool. This phase of the project expands screening to babies in Kvemo Kartli. All babies with heart defects receive free world-class treatment in Tbilisi.
Phase 1 of the program is now complete, but we urgently need funds for Phase 2 : expansion to the Kvemo Kartli region. The diagnostic capacity of Georgian doctors and nurses to identify and treat babies with heart defects already developed in the capital will serve as the basis for extending the benefits of this program to the entire country, beginning with Kvemo Kartli. Once in place, the Georgian government will fully sustain this program - as they have already done in the capital of Tbilisi.