Azerbaijan Heart Screening

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“Training our doctors on pulse oximetry screening and advanced sonography for neonatal cardiac disorders has been tremendous. Support we have received for establishment of such an important program will help us saving more babies with critical heart defects and ensure they reach their full potential into adulthood.”

Chief Neonatologist Trainer, Baku

RVF has worked with local health authorities to train doctors and nurses to carry out heart screening at two pilot sites in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital where the majority of births take place. This safe, non-invasive screening uses pulse oximetery to detect potential heart defects in newborns. Once screened, newborns can be receive urgent care with the existing local medical and surgical treatment capability as needed.

RVF has helped the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health (MOH) create a national standard for screening as well as incorporate training on screening and echocardiography in post-doctorate education for physicians at the national medical school.

Since December 2016, nearly 1,400 infants have been screened and 88 with heart defects have been identified. All babies with confirmed heart defects were treated at the Republican Perinatal Center ICU.

The heart screening program, conducted in cooperation with the MOH and with the support of Boeing, s screening the majority of births in Baku. The program will be sustained at all pilot sites will be sustained by the MOH beginning in 2019.