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.

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The Children Photographs
Mission Sponsors Local Facilities
ICHF Team Press Coverage

The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) opened their doors to our team for this two-week 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 were conducted under emergency backup generator.

Our biomedical engineers, Frank Watts and Daniel Finley, provided invaluable support by constantly dealing with power failures, ageing and obsolete wiring, and monitoring and infusion pump failures. The Engineering World Health (EWH) organization, founded by University of Memphis biomedical engineer Robert Malkin, has been instrumental in providing us with biomedical monitors and other equipment for missions.

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 truly 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. NEVERTHELESS, our ICHF team and the local team pulled together to transform this tenuous situation into a highly successful mission.

These are some photographs of the UNTH facilities and staff.


Dr. Taborda Aitken and Suzanne Gingras review a child's medical records during near continous ward power failure with lantern light


Drs. Kesavulu and Taborda Aitken continuing patient rounds...in the dark

operating room

local Nigerian nursing team undergoing orientation on new monitors provided by ICHF & EWH

local food vendors near hospital

overlooking Enugu

thankfully, we had Frank and Daniel

Frank Watts repairing equipment

existing operating room equipment

a tangle of infusion pump power supplies

Frank repairing ...

local UNTH nurses with some of ICHF team

two security guards assigned to our team during the mission

clothing drying outside patient wards

UNTH grounds

walkway to cafeteria

UNTH "livestock"

washing facilities

entrance to main patient ward

patient ward where children awaited evaluation
and (hopefully) surgery

entrance to UNTH

overlooking Enugu

operating room

the single anesthesia machine
which Drs. Lubin and Taborda Aitken found awaiting them

local team

local operating room team

operating room during surgery

on initial arrival

"our bus"

UNTH insignia

"This health institution has
been designated a child-friendly hospital"

UNTH grounds

medical book store

immediately outside the hospital

UNTH entrance

UNTH walkways


the total oxygen supply
for our team; used in the
operating room and the
intensive care unit


these two men kept us fed

outstanding pharmacy staff

rush on gasoline station during
country-wide strike

Nigeria is a republic in western Africa, bounded by Cameroon to the east, Chad to the northeast, Niger to the north, Benin to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Nigeria has a federal form of government and is divided into 36 states and a federal capital territory. The country's official name is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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