First Lady in Boston to Raise Funds For Rwanda’s First Cardiac Center

First Lady Jeannette Kagame receives the Humanitarian Award from Team Heart founder Chip Bolman

First Lady Jeannette Kagame receives the Humanitarian Award from Team Heart founder Chip Bolman

Rwanda is expected to establish its first-ever cardiac care center , a very vital facility in the care of patients diagnosed with cardiac complications.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame travelled to Boston, US where she has launched a public campaign to raise funds for construction of Rwanda’s premier cardiac care center.

The event hosted at University of Massachusetts Alumni Club attracted several health professionals, scholars, corporate representatives, businessmen and women, and students.

It was organised by Team Heart a non-profit organization focused on increasing access to cardiac care to Rwanda.

She said the fundraiser for the first cardiac centre in Rwanda, ” carries the potential of a great leap forward, for the Rwandan health sector, and that of the region.”

“This Cardiac Care Center will serve as a beacon of hope to Rwanda, providing the preventive care and medical procedures that will save countless lives,” said David Wilson Team Heart Board President.

According to Team Heart, the stories of patients in Rwanda often start with an easily treatable infection, “but because they are forced to suffer untreated for years, they are pushed to the brink and need critical heart surgery,” Wilson said.

The First Lady told guests that events like this dedicated to raising funds to build a cardiac centre, also serve as a reminder that prevention, and treatment, of heart diseases, will ensure that they do not become a major cause of premature death, and disabilities in Rwanda.

For the past nine years, highly skilled volunteers from the New England region have been travelling to Rwanda to provide health screenings, life saving open-heart surgery and educational workshops for Rwandan medical care givers.

These specialists also focused on Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), an epidemic in children and young adults in Rwanda.

“We are thankful to your organisation, for having joined in the efforts of the Government of Rwanda, and its civil society, in helping address some of the most critical health issues, still faced in our land,” she said.

The First Lady was honoured with a humanitarian award by Team Heart in recognition to her work in the fields of health, education, youth and economic empowerment.

She said Rwanda’s achievements in stability, security and growing economy are owed to commitment of countless individuals, who spared no efforts in devising locally-designed programmes, and carefully adapted strategies, to answer crucial challenges.

Team Heart largely benefits from donations of individuals and organizations mainly from USA, including the St. Jude Medical Foundation, Bill and Ann Marie Teubel, and Starbacks, a retail coffee shop chain.

Rwanda currently does not have any cardiac surgeons nor does the country have a cardiac catheterization laboratory.

 First Lady Mrs Kagame poses with Amb. Mathilde Mukantab ... am Heart co-founder Chip Bolman, and MC Parfait Gasana

First Lady Mrs Kagame poses with Amb. Mathilde Mukantab … am Heart co-founder Chip Bolman, and MC Parfait Gasana

Former patients of Team Heart (second l. and far right) share a light moment with other guests

Former patients of Team Heart (second l. and far right) share a light moment with other guests

Former patient Ernest Simpunga stand with the Team Heart founders Ceeya and Chip Bolman as he shares his testimony

Former patient Ernest Simpunga stand with the Team Heart founders Ceeya and Chip Bolman as he shares his testimony

Charlotte Ingabire poses with her heart surgeon from Team Heart, Dr. Bruce Leavitt

Charlotte Ingabire poses with her heart surgeon from Team Heart, Dr. Bruce Leavitt

 Sandrine Murengerantwali, a pianist who underwent heart surgery at a young age

Sandrine Murengerantwali, a pianist who underwent heart surgery at a young age

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