Totally Giving Back: U.S. medical group changing lives in Pakistan

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A U.S. medical team is lending its expertise at no cost to improve the health of people in Southern Punjab, Pakistan.

The mission of the organization, Darul Qalb, is to provide free procedures to those in the poverty-stricken region who suffer from illnesses such as rheumatic mitral stenosis. The progressive disease can occur from untreated strep infections.

“Strep throat can happen anywhere but a complication that arises from untreated strep throat is rheumatic fever, which can have long-term effects on the heart,” explained Ahmad N. Akhtar, CEO of the nonprofit organization.

Mitral stenosis affects children from lower social economic areas where antibiotics are not readily available, Akhtar said. Many people in Pakistan die while awaiting treatment, he added.

Expanding the healing mission

The Darul Qalb team of surgeons, nurses and other volunteers will to return to Pakistan on Jan. 23. Three interventional cardiologists will join them, Akhtar said.

“In 2020, we will be starting a new program where we will try to screen children for early detection,” Akhtar said. “Our idea is to go into rural area schools and screen them.”

Totally Promotional is creating and donating a customized vinyl banner that Darul Qalb will use during their next trip to Pakistan to advertise free screenings for rheumatic valve disease and congenital heart diseases.

Small group, big hearts

Darul Qalb was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. It currently includes seven doctors, surgeons and nurses from Tennessee, Texas, Montana and Ohio. Several team members have parents who are native to Pakistan.

Since 2015, the medical entourage has treated about 60 Pakistan patients for mitral stenosis, peripheral arterial disease and surgical mitral valve repairs. The group performed its first TAVR (aortic valve replacement) in Southern Punjab in 2018.

The organization is focused on improving the quality of life for the people of Pakistan who cannot afford these costly medical procedures. To donate money or time as a volunteer, please check out the Darul Qalb website.

Totally Promotional applauds the group’s efforts and wishes them safe travels on future trips!

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