Last week, Dino and Janice Crognale were part of a historic moment in Kenya as they held the first school screenings for rheumatic heart disease. This fully preventable disease comes from untreated strep throat and is killing and debilitating hundreds of Kenyans each year.
In 2007, Tenwek Hospital started a cardiac surgery program to treat these damaged hearts and other structural heart diseases that occur at birth. Since the program’s inception, more than 100 damaged valves and congenital defects have been repaired with great success.
“Though God has truly blessed these efforts, the reality is that for every heart repaired, we are seeing 150 that we are not able to repair because of both the advanced stage of the heart disease and the sheer number of patients who come in with these problems,” the Crognales shared. “We are going to start screening to help identify children that need treatment as well as show the prevalence in our community to help spur others to action. Our goal is to work with our community health department and the local government to educate the people on how to recognize symptoms of strep throat and treat it before the disease occurs.”
PRAY: Please join the Crognales in praying that these screenings are a success and that many lives will be saved. Pray also that the Crognales will be a blessing to those suffering with rheumatic heart disease as God directs their paths.