Philippines Improve Its Medical Standards
Under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club, Dr. Jou-Kou Wang, a Taiwanese pediatric cardiac authority, will lead a team to the Philippines to assist in training local physicians. On May 6th, the Rotary Club of Taipei North and the medical team officially signed a cooperation agreement at the Manila Heart Center in the Philippines.

The CEO of the Cardiac Children’s Foundation Taiwan and pediatric cardiac authority, Dr. Jou-Kou Wang, sponsored by the Rotary Club, traveled to the Philippines to train local physicians in performing transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement surgeries, hoping to improve the local medical standards and provide better care for children with heart disease.

Patients with congenital heart disease, such as Tetralogy of Fallot, often have blue lips from birth due to heart problems. Although corrective surgery can improve their condition, residual complications from valve regurgitation may lead to issues such as cardiac enlargement, right heart failure, arrhythmias, and even sudden death. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of these children require pulmonary valve replacement surgery, but many have already undergone 2 to 3 open-heart surgeries, making them face significant risks with another operation. Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement allows valve replacement without surgery, reducing risks and shortening hospital stays. Dr. Jou-Kou Wang, a pediatric cardiologist at National Taiwan University Hospital and CEO of the Cardiac Children’s Foundation, received the CSI Lifetime Achievement Award for this technique. Under his guidance, the team at National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital has successfully treated over a hundred patients since 2015, leading in results across Asian countries.

This year, the National Taiwan University cardiac treatment team, sponsored by the Rotary Club’s International Service Project (Global Grant #2454529 for a total of $95,000), trained Filipino doctors to help them use this new technique to treat more patients with congenital heart disease. It is expected that Dr. Jou-Kou Wang will lead the medical team to perform actual surgeries at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Manila in early June. In addition to treating three children on-site, local doctors can also learn and gain experience alongside.

Lin Zhenbang, the District Governor-elect of Rotary District 3521, and members of the medical team including Dr. Jou-Kou Wang, went to the Philippine Heart Center on May 6 and signed a contract with the local representatives in the presence of Deputy Representative Deng-shi Yang from Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines. Dr. Jou-Kou Wang also gave a speech locally, attracting young Indonesian doctors to come from Bali, hoping to gain learning opportunities. As it is known that Taiwan’s medical technology ranks among the top in Asia, through teaching, local doctors can gradually accumulate experience from scratch.

The Rotary Club of Taipei North celebrates its 65th anniversary this year and initiates the cross-national international medical service project, which has attracted participation from 6 countries, including 18 sister and friendly Rotary clubs for the donation of Global Grant. Under the Global Grant, “Cardiac Children’s Foundation Taiwan” which has helped over 6,800 children with heart disease with medical expenses since its establishment in 1971, has been entrusted with executing the medical service project, aiming to improve the medical standards in the Philippines.

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