We are pleased to announce the release of the Oscar® winning film "Chernobyl Heart" - the second film in the double feature HBO® documentary series "America Undercover" airing in September. The film will premiere September 9th on HBO and will continue to air throughout the month of September. Featuring the work of the International Children's Heart Foundation in Belarus and Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children's Project International, the documentary focuses on the continuing effects of Chernobyl on the children of Belarus.  A schedule of the HBO airing times is available here.
The Children Photographs
Mission Sponsors Local Facilities
ICHF Team Press Coverage


Dr. William Novick
Cardiac Surgeon
ICHF Founder

Dr. Taborda Aitken and Suzanne Gingras review a child's medical records with lantern light.
Power failures occured frequently. We operated under emergency generator power.

Mission 84 Complete: Enugu, Nigeria - June/July 2003
mission complete July 6, 2003 (524 days ago)

From June 22 to July 6, 2003, the ICHF team completed a successful two-week mission to NIGERIA. Twelve children were provided life-saving cardiac surgery during this mission. During this mission, ICHF 1) provided life-saving surgery for 12 infants and children with otherwise lethal heart defects; 2) provided education and training for the local Nigerian doctors and physicians; 3) donated critical operating room and intensive care unit supplies that may be used by the Nigerian team to continue surgical program development; 4) repaired existing equipment.

Medical volunteers for this mission included two pediatric surgeons, two intensivists, two anesthesiologists (one from Colombia), 12 specialized ICU nurses, and two biomedical engineers. All of these professionals donated their time and expertise toward this humanitarian mission. In addition to the core team members, a large contingent of team members participated from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Children's Hospital. Several veteran team members from Kansas City also participated in this major ICHF mission.

This mission was particularly challenged in several areas. The massive equipment and drug shipment was delayed in Lagos for two days while clearing Nigerian Customs. At UNTH, we were challenged by frequent electrical power failures. The majority of our surgeries and post-operative care was conducted under emergency backup generator. Our biomedical engineers provided invaluable support while repairing unexpected local equipment failures. The Nigerian medical and nursing staff were helpful. Because of economic and political complications, this local medical team has struggled with obtaining medicines which are trully packaged and potent. Our team witnessed this sporadic drug potency. A Nigerian political crisis forced a country-wide strike which further limited electrical power supplies and other support needs. Lastly, one team member became infected with malaria despite appropriate antimalerial prophylaxis. NEVERTHELESS, our ICHF team and the local team pulled together to transform this tenuous situation into a highly successful mission.

This was the 84th ICHF mission. ICHF has now provided life-saving heart surgery to 1670 infants and children. Your support is critical for this continuing work. Please consider providing support toward this life-saving work. Without you, parents are left to watch their children become increasingly fatigued, blue, ill, and die because necessary surgical correction is unavailable.

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[Main Mission 84 Page] [Main ICHF Page]

The International Children's Heart Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Memphis, Tennessee. We are dedicated to helping children with congenital or acquired heart disease in developing countries throughout the world. We serve all children without respect to their race, religion or sex. Our primary goal is to make ourselves obsolete in the countries that we serve. To this end, we strive to educate the health care professionals in the countries we travel and bring them to the United States for advanced study so that they may better serve their own children.
Copyright 2004, International Children's Heart Foundation.   We appreciate your interest and support.  Questions, inquiries, or comments regarding  and/or are always welcome.  You may save the life of a child by clicking here.  The knowledge that you made such a significant difference in the life of a child, a family, and a community is priceless.