Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo
Congenital heart diseases are the most frequent congenital malformations, which are the third cause of death in infancy. In the world, today there are more than 5 million children with heart diseases waiting for an operation. Each year 1 million babies are born affected by congenital heart diseases: 800.000 of these have no chance of survival because they are born in poor countries, without doctors and adequate hospital structures. For this reason “Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo” was founded in Milan in 1993. This was the inspiration of a group of physician and Italian voluntary workers, guided by Prof. Alessandro Frigiola, MD, Head of Cardiac Surgery at the Centre “E. Malan” of Policlinico San Donato, and Prof. Silvia Cirri, MD, Head of Intensive Care Unit of the Sant’Ambrogio Hospital, Milan. The Association utilizes the voluntary collaboration of physicians of the most important Italian and foreign cardiac surgery centres leaded by San Donato Hospital Group of Milan, the coordinator of the projects organization. More than 100 volunteers (cardiologists, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and perfusionists) leave for missions in developing countries to operate and save children affected by congenital heart diseases. The Association, in partnership with other humanitarian organizations and with the local governments, is also involved in projects of cooperation and development in the poorer countries: it has been active in the constitution of efficient paediatric cardiology centres so as to develop a local modern health system and gradually lower the infant mortality rate.