The RHD Action Countries are a cohort of countries where government and partner institutions are actively engaged in achieving specific RHD targets within their geographies, while also strengthening their health systems. Strategies and tactics on the ground vary amongst countries and are dependent on existing resources and infrastructure. Aligned with national health plans, these country projects contribute to the global hub of knowledge about best practices to prevent, control and treat RHD. The inaugural RHD Action Countries include India, Tanzania and Uganda.
RHD Action Tanzania
RHD Action Tanzania is a collaboration of Touch Foundation with several national partners, including Bugando Medical Centre, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Shinyanga Regional Referral Hospital, and the Private Nurses and Midwives Association of Tanzania (PRINMAT). The program leverages an existing education and referral network, as well as broader maternal health and cardiovascular health programs. This integrated approach enhances the coordinated continuum of care for pregnant women, RHD patients and other people from community to super-specialty hospital level. Furthermore, the program supports healthcare worker training, equipment like handheld ultrasounds, patient education, school screenings, and global advocacy.
RHD Action Uganda
RHD Action Uganda is a collaboration of Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, USA) with several foundational Ugandan partners—Makerere University, the Uganda Heart Institute, and the Joint Clinical Research Center. Other affiliated partners include Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, USA), Mbarara University of Science and Technology, and Gulu University School of Medicine. The program aims to leverage a network of existing HIV/AIDS infrastructure (the Joint Clinical Research Center) and expertise of the Uganda Heart Institute to expand access to RHD care throughout the country. By improving RHD care, we will strengthen the health system’s capacity to provide basic cardiovascular services (e.g. echocardiography, heart failure management, and anticoagulation monitoring) outside of Kampala. Core components of our program include an electronic online national RHD registry, portable ultrasound, secondary prophylaxis clinics, adherence initiatives, health worker training, school screening and education, and a community/patient advisory board and support group.