Dr Christo Tchervenkov wants to
change the way the world thinks about international
The short overseas surgery missions
he calls them "surgical safaris" that
Canadian and other Western doctors undertake are "resources
wasted," says the Montreal pediatric cardiovascular
surgeon. So last month Dr Tchervenkov convened pediatric
cardiology organizations from around the world in Montreal
to establish the ambitious new World Federation for
Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.
The federation will focus on replacing
current strategies to treat CHD patients in developing
countries which usually involve flying them to
Western hospitals or sending Western surgeons in to
perform a handful of operations with cardiology
training for local physicians.
"[The current strategies] help
a few dozen kids, when the same resources in education
could help hundreds of thousands of kids," he says.
"We need to focus on how to deliver knowledge to areas
in need of science and knowledge. We could actually
set the example around the world on other diseases."