"My right to health care as a European cannot include a CT scan and sophisticated diagnosis, while the right to be cured for an African stops at the level of a couple vaccinations and a few antibiotics". -Dr. Gino Strada
Rheumatic heart disease is a potential complication of untreated strep throat and, quite simply, proceeds to kill its victims. Previously the leading cause of death of children in the United States, it has been all but eliminated here with the advent of antibiotics. In resource-challenged sub-Saharan Africa, children have not been so fortunate; and many suffer from damaged hearts that, without surgery, will result in death.
Open Heart follows eight Rwandan children as they pursue their only hope for survival—traveling 2500 miles to Africa's only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital for the necessary high-risk surgery.
The children are not the only subjects reaching for survival. The Sudanese cardiac center, run by an Italian NGO and providing the free treatment, is financially endangered. Its leader, Dr. Gino Strada, an Italian war surgeon and medical marvel, fights for the future of the children and the ongoing viability of the center.
This is a documentary that not only shares a heart-rending (in every sense of the word) situation across a spectrum of individuals and nations, but also inspires hope as it demonstrates the possibilities for solutions and the goodness of those who work for them. See the movie trailer in the clip below.