Chain of Hope has been working in Egypt for over a decade, carrying out paediatric cardiac surgery in co-operation with teams at the Abu Rishe Children’s Hospital in Cairo. In 2006, Chain of Hope helped to fund the furnishing of a new state-of-the art cardiac theatre which is now up and running, doubling the treatment of case loads. In 2007, Chain of Hope further sponsored the refurbishment of the Intensive Care unit to upgrade the unit and to improve infection control; the provision of oxygen suction units and syringe pumps were sponsored by members of the Chain of Hope nursing team.
In 2007, Chain of Hope began to embark on a major project to develop cardiac services for the population of Upper Egypt, a life long dream of the charity's President, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. The inhabitants of Aswan amount to approximately 4 million people with a further 20 million in neighbouring Upper Egypt. Currently there are no local specialized cardiac services to serve this large population. This tremendous need motivated Professor Yacoub and Chain of Hope teams to stimulate the development of a new unit to offer cardiac facilities at the highest level.
In 2008, Chain of Hope began this initiative by donating and installing $500,000 worth of new cardiac equipment to the Aswan Teaching Hospital in a joint initiative with the Ministry of Health. Chain of Hope also donated and installed a refurbished Siemens catheter laboratory to enable the diagnostic and interventional treatment of cardiac patients.
The Aswan Heart Centre officially opened in April 2009 alongside the inaugural Chain of Hope mission to the centre which succesfully treated 14 patients who were suffering from very complex cardiac diseases. Since this first mission, Chain of Hope has continued its surgical program with a programme of regular teaching and training missions. Chain of Hope is also assisting with the further training of professionals, including Cardiologists, Biomedical Engineers, and Perfusionists by bringing them to the UK and Europe for tailored training with highly specialised mentors in their area of remit.