Morningstar Clinic Volunteer Dr Monde Muyambango training at University of Virginia in Advanced hemodynamic monitoring of cardiac patients

The University of Virginia, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, is hosting clinicians from Zambia to facilitate cardiovascular skill transfer with a goal of improving the quality of cardiac care in Zambia. Cardiovascular disease experts from UVA performed Zambia’s first ever percutanous mitral valvuloplasty in 2018. A percutanous mitral valvuloplasty is a type of cardiac procedure for opening narrowed mitral valve without opening the chest but is done via a balloon catheter that is advanced to the heart through the groin. Earlier this year, another team from UVA also helped Zambia’s National Heart Hospital perform advanced open-heart surgeries including their first of a kind complex surgery that involves replacing the entire portion of the ascending aorta.
UVA Cardiac Surgeons Dr Nick Teman said ” this was a great experience and a collaborative effort to improve the care of cardiac patients in Zambia. We have developed a great relationship with the team in Zambia and we look forward to working together to improve the care of cardiac patients in Zambia.

The team from Zambia’s National heart hospital and Morningstar clinic will be here at UVA to learn various aspects of cardiovascular medicine including cardiac stress testing, right heart catheterization and advanced hemodynamic monitoring of cardiac patients.

UVA heart specialists are also helping train medical staff at Morningstar clinic in Zambia to setup a diagnostic right heart catheterization program for diagnosing various cardiac conditions including pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is a deadly condition that can be difficult to diagnose and can present with progressive shortness of breath, increasing fatigue and in some cases sudden cardiac death. Although the condition can be suspected on an echocardiogram, formal diagnosis is made with a right heart catheterization.
“ Pulmonary hypertension is a disease condition with very nonspecific symptoms which are often dismissed by patients till the condition is too advanced to easily modify the disease trajectory. Creating capacity for early diagnosis has the potential to save lives in Zambia” Dr Mazimba, a Cardiologist and Pulmonary Hypertension specialist from UVA remarked.

Another cardiac mission team from UVA will be heading to Zambia next month to help the medical team at Morningstar Clinic establish a dedicated pulmonary hypertension diagnostic program as well as screen patients with rheumatic heart disease for a future mitral valvuloplasty interventional mission trip.