Open Heart is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Center run by Emergency, an Italian NGO. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, leave them lethargic and weak. Some of the children have only months to live.
During their cross-continental journey, Open Heart reveals the intertwined endeavors of Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, Rwanda’s lone, overworked public cardiologist, and Dr. Gino Strada, the Salam Center’s head surgeon. As one of Emergency’s founders, he must fight for the children’s lives in addition to the tenuous financial future of the hospital.
After the film, the Executive Director of Emergency USA, Eric Talbert, will participate in a Q&A with the audience to speak about the film and the worldwide work of Emergency.
This event was developed by members of the International Forum, a globally minded multicultural group that acts as an interactive arm of the World Affairs Council. The group, comprised exclusively of volunteers, hosts speaker events, informal group discussions, social gatherings, a book club and other networking opportunities. To learn about other IF events and ways to get involved, please join their Facebook Page or subscribe to their email newsletter.
This event is free and open to the public.