MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (October 5, 2012) – Children's HeartLink, a nonprofit organization partnering with health care centers in underserved regions of the world to promote sustainable cardiac care for children with heart disease, today announced in collaboration with India’s National Board of Examinations (NBE), the group that sets standards for post-‐graduate medical education and examinations and People4People, a nonprofit charitable trust in India, the mandating of online education modules to supplement education at all pediatric cardiology training programs in India. The project will focus on enrolling all pediatric cardiology programs that are accredited for fellowship training and in the next year, a select number of pilot programs that are accredited for pediatrics training.
The objective of the project is to bring pediatric cardiology teaching standards up to the same level across all teaching centers in the country, so that the knowledge base for pediatric cardiologists and pediatricians will be expanded and, ultimately, the screening, referral and treatment system for children with heart disease will be improved. This type of partnership is a first for the NBE and for Children’s HeartLink.
“Many practitioners in India have identified significant discrepancies in the learning experience for pediatric cardiology and pediatrics fellows across academic institutions, particularly in terms of receiving structured and standardized education of theory and critical thinking. Supplementing their practical education with online instruction could make a significant difference in standardizing pediatric cardiology education in India,” said Bistra Zheleva, director of international programs at Children's HeartLink.
A basic framework and IT platform for this project have already been developed by Cisco and Linkstreet and successfully piloted by People4People founder, Dr. Sunita Maheshwari, a pediatric cardiologist in Bangalore, India. Children's HeartLink joined the NBE and Dr. Maheshwari in 2011 to work with them to make the program more comprehensive and more widely accessible to fellows across the country.
“The NBE fully supports and endorses this project for all pediatric cardiology and pediatric fellows in India. There is much to be gained for our cardiac care system and more importantly, for the children of India,” said Bipin Batra, MD, director of the NBE.
About Children’s HeartLink
Founded in 1969, Children’s HeartLink is a nonprofit organization partnering with health care centers in underserved regions of the world to strengthen their ability to diagnose and treat heart disease in children. Children’s HeartLink currently supports partner hospitals and programs in the following countries: Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Ukraine and Vietnam. Nearly 90 percent of newborns with congenital heart disease are in areas of the world where appropriate medical care is inadequate or unavailable. For more information on Children’s HeartLink, please visit our website, with additional information found on our Facebook and Twitter sites.
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, affecting one in 100 children. Only one in 10 children has access to care.