The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Leeds Children's Hospital volunteers visit Dhaka to kickstart new cardiac surgery partnership

20 January 2023

In December volunteers from Leeds Children’s Hospital visited the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHF) in Bangladesh as part of a new partnership coordinated by global charity Children’s HeartLink.

Our Congenital Heart Unit has been chosen by Children’s HeartLink to partner NHF in Dhaka to share expertise and support the NHF team in growing organizational capacity, multidisciplinary and clinical skills and more to better serve children with heart disease in Bangladesh.

The delegation for the initial visit was made up of a multidisciplinary team from the Congenital Heart Unit and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The team included surgeons, consultants, specialist nurses and anaesthetists.

This 1 week trip was an initial assessment and training visit following which the volunteers from Leeds will support the NHF team to develop and grow to achieve Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence status. NHF is the national referral center for all children with high complexity congenital heart disease in Bangladesh providing specialized care for approximately 2000 children every year.

Leeds Congenital Cardiac Surgeon Mr Osama Jaber MD said:

“…Children are often the last to get care in low resourced environments. They’re so vulnerable. They’re children who don’t get the care that we would get in western countries. The Leeds team is looking forward to working with the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute team to see how we can support them in diagnosing and treating these children earlier for the best possible outcome.”

In addition to an initial assessment the specialist team from Leeds also delivered training, shared learning from Leeds Children’s Hospital and performed surgery. Following the visit the team have already set up regular virtual meetings to provide ongoing support and plans are coming together to deliver further support.

We’re very grateful to Children’s HeartLink for this amazing to support colleagues in Bangladesh and share our team’s expertise. We also want to say a huge thank you to all the team at NHF for an incredible warm welcome to Dhaka. It was a pleasure to meet the team and were excited to continue to work together to help children born with heart disease.

Read more about this exciting new partnership through the Children’s HeartLink Web Site Blog.