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Saving a Child’s Life in Africa

  • December 8, 2009

Renatus was an infant when he had his first bout of heart trouble, but with help from AmeriCares he’s now a healthy school boy in the developing African nation of Tanzania. Renatus was born with a rare heart condition and before his first birthday, he started having dangerously rapid heartbeats. The first time he had an episode, parents were frantic. Renatus broke into a sweat and struggled to breathe. They rushed him to the children’s free clinic at AmeriCares local partner hospital, Bugando Medical Center, where they were quickly able to find out what was wrong and treat him. Doctors told his parents he had a congenital heart problem that caused it to race, but with ongoing treatment, Renatus could live a normal healthy life.

Renatus, now 6 years old, and his dad now make monthly trips to the Bugando Medical Center’s pediatric cardiac unit where he gets heart medicines and other medical therapy for his condition. AmeriCares sends regular shipments of medicines and supplies to help Renatus and other Tanzanian children with heart problems at Bugando’s free clinic.

For many children, this level of care is simply not available. Renatus and his family, like many in Tanzania, live on just a few dollars a day and barely have enough for food, clothing and shelter. Some families must turn to potentially dangerous black market medicines, often the only affordable and available form of the necessary prescriptions. The free medicines and supplies AmeriCares donates not only help individual patients like Renatus, but it helps Bugando Medical Center deliver increased and higher quality care for free to people in need including the hundreds of young children the free heart clinic treats every year.

AmeriCares helps keep the world heart healthy by donating medicines and supplies to programs throughout the world. From Cambodia and Guatemala to Uzbekistan and the United States, patients young and old are getting the care they need to live longer, healthier lives.  

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