Posted by James Serugo on Feb 05, 2019

A program to operate 110 children who are suffering from congenital heart diseases  at the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) was started in January this year. 

This follows operations of 10 children who were suffering from Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD). Under this program, 30 children will undergo open heart surgery, 20 will receive closed heart surgery and another 50 will receive interventional catheterization.

The operations have been made possible by the Rotary Clubs of Kampala, Mengo, Bukoto and Naalya (D9211) in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Englewood Lemon Bay Sunrise (D6960) who have been funded by The Rotary Foundation and other Not-for-profit Organizations to the tune of USD 2,272,500.


The Uganda government, through the Ministry of Health will also participate in the program by sponsoring the operation of another 50 children. All these donors have been mobilized by The Gift of Life International, in memory of the late Rotary International President Elect (RIPE) Sam Owori.


The late Rotarian Sam Owori, from the Rotary Club of Kampala, together with other Rotarians, was instrumental in setting up the Uganda Heart Foundation, which in turn supported the founding of the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI). Rotarian Sam Owori rose through the ranks of Rotary International leadership to became elected President of this Worldwide Humanitarian organization. Unfortunately, he died shortly before taking office in 2017.


The grant was initiated to expand the capacity of the Pediatrics Cardiac program at UHI. To this effect, the grant also funded a Vocational Training Team(VTT) Rheumatic Surgical mission from Washington National Children’s Hospital in USA led by Dr. Craig Sable


The VTT mission, together with the Team at UHI have for the past four years been conducting Record breaking research studying the incidence of RHD in Northern Uganda. Over 100,000 children were screened. It’s estimated that over 130,000 children in Uganda suffer from RHD. And if not addressed early, these children die in their early years of life.


According to the Director of UHI, this grant and the VTT have helped to strengthen the UHI Research agenda, including massive screening of children, diagnosis, treatment and also training of UHI medical Team in a skills transfer arrangement.


Representing District Governor D9211, the District Governor Elect, Xavier Sentamu affirmed that Rotary will spare no effort to raise more funds to support UHI.



Caption:  DGE Xavier with parent and child