The Cardiovascular Department
The Department of Cardiovascular medicine
The story of establishing Imam Al-Hujjah Hospital can be traced to this particular department. According to the founder of the project, who had envisioned this venture, a mild heart stroke that he suffered from in summer 2003 had inspired him to pursue establishing the charitable hospital. After a long period in absentia, he had returned to his birthplace in Karbala upon the collapse of the previous regime and had resumed his religious and social activities when he suffered a heart stroke that needed immediate medical attention. Due to the perilous healthcare condition in the country, his eminence had to leave the Iraq to undergo an open-heart surgery that eventually was performed in Whittier Presbyterian Hospital in the State of California, USA. Through witnessing the extensive medical care given to patients in that hospital and its alike in North America, he vowed if granted a new life by the Almighty, he would work toward establishing a cardiac specialty charitable hospital in this particular geographic region. As it is noticed, at the center of the Imam Al-Hujjah Hospital emblem lays the red & blue colored heart that represents this integral department.
In addition, the country’s healthcare statics suggest that cardiovascular related problems require urgent, comprehensive solution. According the Iraq’s Ministry of Health (MOH) 2012 report, number one cause of death among country’s adult populations is “some form of heart disease” that constitutes 13.4% of total causes of death in the country. Moreover, number four cause of stillbirths of newborns in the country in 2012 is diagnosed to be “respiratory and cardiovascular disorders specific to the perinatal period” with 6.5% of the total stillbirths.
Moreover, on local level, the first cause of death among adults in the province of Karbala is cardiac arrest with 984 cases in 2007. Despite this unusually high number of mortalities related to cardiovascular problems, there are no secondary or tertiary healthcare centers in the majority of provinces that provide treatment for heart related issues. Up to this date, there are neither open-heart surgeries nor therapeutic catheterizations performed in the entire province of Karbala.
Therefore, it was incumbent upon the DRF to assist the local authorities in combating this chronic and widespread disease, by establishing Imam Al-Hujjah Hospital which will provide well-integrated healthcare facilities to those who need this heath service the most. This department will provide services on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases, and the hospital will be furnished with a fully equipped state of the art surgical module to accommodate open-heart surgeries and one operating room for cardiac catheterizing, defibrillation/ cardio-version. Both rooms will be further furnished with videoconferencing equipment to facilitate telemedicine and training of hospital’s medical staff.