Working in association with the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa the heart project has come to fruition. This is a relatively new venture which has a high unit cost. However the philosophy behind it was that Dr De Giovanni one of the best key hole cardiologist in the world would help train local specialists in new techniques and hence benefit would be long term. Indeed in November 2010 over twenty African children who were to die were operated over a period of 4 days in the presence of the media and the cardiac fraternity in S Africa. Our overheads in S Africa were only £5000 as Dr Giovanni enlisted the help of companies that provided intervention equipment free of charge! Otherwise it would have cost us well in excess of £40,000.
As a Trust we are eternally grateful to Dr Giovanni for giving up his valuable time and also the Islamic Medical Association, and in particular Dr Ibrahim Hoosen, for facilitating our work at the Albert Lithuli Hospital in Durban. Further key hole surgery is planned for November 2011. It is hoped that we will also run a parallel programme of minor operations as we did on our previous visit when cataract operations were carried out simultaneously.
Dr De Giovanni has visited S Africa on many occasions and operated on children through the intervention technique which does not require an operation. This has been taught to many cardiologists in S Africa who continue to remain in contact with him. MIAT was supported by the Islamic Medical Association of S Africa.