Dear friends and colleagues,
In October 2023, I will return to Oraifite, Nigeria to participate in a medical mission with the VOOM Foundation to offer cardiac surgery to children in Nigeria with unrepaired congenital heart disease.
Our team, comprised of individuals from across multiple centers in the United States, will focus on providing care to children from underprivileged backgrounds whose families do not otherwise have the resources to access the necessary medical care. We will also utilize our expertise to train and educate the local cardiac staff at the Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital.
The VOOM foundation has taken a leading role in working to address the staggering dearth of both pediatric and adult cardiac care in Nigeria. The VOOM Foundation partners with local hospitals to provide the infrastructure, equipment, and supplies necessary to start a local cardiac program while sponsoring teams from abroad to travel to Nigeria to provide care to patients and train local medical personnel.
I participated in the VOOM sponsored pediatric heart surgery mission in November 2022. That mission represented the first opportunity for children in Nigeria to have cardiac surgery in country since before the COVID-19 pandemic. We performed 14 open heart surgeries, including on a 4-month-old infant, in addition to evaluating many other children. Despite our unanticipated successes, our efforts were only able to address the needs of a small proportion of the over 250 children in need of cardiac surgery at the time. Our team is returning to Nigeria this year propelled by last year’s accomplishments and motivated to help even more children in need.
Personally, I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to return to Nigeria to share my knowledge and expertise as a pediatric cardiologist. Just as the challenges that confront humankind in the 21st century are not confined to boundaries or borders, congenital heart disease is widespread across the globe, as should be access to care for it. My participation in last year’s medical mission was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of my professional career. I can only imagine the future successes of the children we care for, one of whom may ultimately make a global impact with reverberations felt back home in New York City.
If you feel called to support our cause, I am raising funds to help cover the costs of medical supplies, hospital costs for children receiving surgery, and in support of the overarching mission of the VOOM Foundation.
this video.Check out VOOM Foundation interviewing me last November while we were in Nigeria with
To read more about our inaugural pediatric medical mission in November 2022, check out this article by Columbia University.
With much gratitude,
Dr. Matan Setton
NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital