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Gift of Life International

Healing little hearts in Bolivia

Each year, approximately 2,000 Bolivian children are born with a congenital heart defect. Today, less than 5% of these children are receiving the care they require. In 2021, Gift of Life International designated Bolivia as its fifth Core Program. The Bolivian team has begun its journey on the strategic path to sustainability. With principled and committed healthcare professionals, Bolivian children with heart disease now have hope for treatment in their country of birth. The Bolivian pediatric cardiac team is led by Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Ericka Perez Albrecht.
Since 2019, we have conducted 12 Surgical and Catheterization visits in addition to screening over 150 children. We are excited to continue the empowerment of local healthcare professionals to treat Bolivian children in their country of birth. This work is only possible through the strength of our partnerships. We are grateful for the generosity and passion of Gift of Life Rotary District 7490 and like-minded partner Herz Bewegt as they partner with us to provide hope to Bolivian children with heart disease.

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Stories from Bolivia.

Each child we save is another chapter in our story of how regular people, driven by passion, make a difference in the world. These are the stories of Bolivian children who have been given a new chance at life. These are the stories that inspire us at Gift of Life International.

Stories from Bolivia

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Bolivia Program Development

2021 – Bolivia becomes the 5th Gift of Life International Core Program

Our work in Bolivia began in 2018 when we quickly realized that this program had what it took to become a Core Program. Following an initial site visit, all the boxes were checked to meet the Gift of Life International Core Program criteria. Unfortunately, our efforts were halted in 2020 due to the global pandemic but our commitment was steadfast. Although our teams were not able to travel to Bolivia during this time, our strategic development continued and this program was officially named a Core Program in 2021.

Our teams were back in the air as of January 2022 and our in-country development of a sustainable pediatric cardiac program continued with 3 surgical and 1 cath visit before the end of the year.

2023 – Core Program Development Continued

The program in Bolivia shows tremendous promise. The local team is extremely dedicated and motivated to provide a sustainable solution for children in their country with heart disease. Together we worked to overcome obstacles and build capacity to treat more children in need. The Gift of Life Teams continued skills transfer and insight on best practices in the operating theatre and the ICU during the 3 surgical training visits completed in 2023.  The Bolivian team also increased the number of children they treated independently between visits as their program continued to grow. We also added a local NGO and Program Manager in La Paz to help with coordination and oversight of the visits and day-to-day tasks.

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“Gift of Life International is truly a gift for Bolivian children. Their support and inspiration has allowed the cardiac program to survive and the children in need to live. Being selected as a Core Program is like a dream come true which will allow us to grow in capacity and complexity to help thousands of children in need.”

Dr. Ericka Perez Albrecht Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon Hospital Del Niño Doctor Ovidio Aliaga Uria

Our Impact in Bolivia since 2019.

267

Bolivian Children Treated

496

Thousand Invested

12

Training Visits

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