Cardiology research on Congolese children

In 2015, a young pediatric Congolese doctor, Claude Kayembe, spent five weeks in Switzerland —thanks to all the backers of our first wemakeit campaign «Academic medicine for Congo»— in order to initiate a collaborative research project in cardiology at the University of Bern. As he was flying back to Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), a question was buzzing in his head: were children in Kinshasha having cardiac arrhythmias?

Hence, he started recording hundreds of electrocardiograms (ECGs) from deaf kids (prone to have such arrhythmias) at schools and observed some abnormalities. However, he realized that there were no references in the scientific literature of normal ECGs in Congo’s kids, so he also performed ECG recordings in normal hearing kids. During the recordings a few problems aroused, such as that the different amount of exercise each kid was doing before being tested could not be controlled for. On top of that, sudden cuts of electricity on some isolated neighborhoods impeded the ECG machine to work beyond two hours. Lastly, he found himself facing the problem of how to interpret these complex ECGs…

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Why do we need your support?

We started this campaign because we need your support to cover Dr. Kayembe’s research expenses. Your backing will allow Dr. Kayembe to continue his follow-up study in Congo and solve the above-mentioned practical problems. In particular, you will help to acquire a cycle ergometer (an apparatus used for measuring the work performed by exercising) and an electrical generator. Furthermore, you will back his trip to Switzerland that will permit him to meet with expert cardiologists at the University of Lausanne and Bern who will look at these Congolese children’s’ ECGs and help him interpret the potential abnormalities.

The requested CHF 7.000 include, among others, the following items:

· Electrocardiogram machine consumables: CHF 1.580.

· Cycle Ergometer: CHF 1.120.

· Generator: CHF 1.090.

· Shipping of goods from Bern to Kinshasha: CHF 1.285.

· Academic costs: CHF 500.

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Why support us?

By supporting us you will facilitate the continuation of a collaborative research project between the University of Kinshasha and our research at the University of Bern in a vital cardiology area such as African children’s cardiac arrhythmias. If you supported the 2015 campaign, you made it possible that Dr. Claude Kayembe learnt DNA extraction techniques in Switzerland and went back to his country to apply them and do a pilot study with an electrocardiogram machine. In this new campaign, your support plays a very important role in helping Dr. Kayembe to continue his research, so he can explore what are «normal» electrocardiograms in African kids and whether they are intrinsically different from European kids.

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