Africa’s only hospital providing open-heart surgery for free and using cutting-edge technology is the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan.
This film tells the story of eight Rwandan children who embark on a life-saving journey to receive open-heart surgery. The children have rheumatic heart disease, which often develops from untreated strep throat – a completely preventable condition if antibiotics like penicillin are available. Now, in order to save his young patients’ lives, Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, Rwanda’s lone public cardiologist, teams up with Dr. Gino Strada, the Salam Center’s head surgeon. Strada must also fight for the tenuous financial future of the government-supported hospital, which means negotiating with Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir – a man wanted by the international criminal court for “crimes against humanity.” This heartfelt 40-minute Oscar® nominee (Short Subject Documentary) highlights the bravery of the children as they go under the knife in a foreign place without their family to hold their hands. Their parents know all too well that they might never see their child again, but that they have to give them a chance for a healthy future.
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