Who are we?
Global FICS (Foundation for International Cardiovascular Services) is a US 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization devoted to “Saving Lives in Kenya”. In response to the extremely high infant mortality rate and the lack of basic medical care and medical supplies in Kenya, Dr. Patel and Global FICS have been performing free heart surgeries and have donated over $2 million worth of medical equipment, medicines, medical and school supplies since 2003. Due to extreme poverty, over half the population makes less than $1 per day, and the lack of a healthcare system, many Kenyans, especially women and children die from easily preventable diseases. HIV/AIDS, TB, cholera and heart disease ravage the slums and many families go hungry because an ill parent cannot work. To improve the access to healthcare, Global FICS not only provides state of the art medical equipment, they also provide training to local physicians, nurses and technicians, and these trained healthcare personnel take their new skills and tools into the communities where thousands of people are provided with diagnosis and treatments that they otherwise would not receive. According to the UN “You are lucky to turn 5 in Kenya”.
In 2003, Global FICS began sending medical equipment and supplies to Kenya to address the needs of the poor and disadvantaged people in Kenya. Most people cannot afford a meal let alone get proper medical care and oftentimes patients sell their medicines simply to get food. Motivated by the extreme poverty and lack of basic medical supplies, such as gauze or tape, Dr. Patel began organizing volunteer medical professionals, including biomedical engineers, physicians and nurses to provide treatment and also train and teach Kenyan healthcare and community workers. To date, Global FICS has donated over $2 million worth of medical supplies courtesy of US medical organizations. Donations include 200 stethoscopes, medical text books, pacemakers, baby warmers, 100 ICU monitors, EKG machines, defibrillators, dialysis machines, stress test treadmills, incubators, school supplies and much more.
To increase access to healthcare services for poor and disadvantaged Kenyans by providing access to modern equipment and medicines and training local healthcare professionals. Provide medical treatment, including surgeries, to those who cannot afford the lifesaving services and provide children and women medical services to those living in the slums and rural areas. Combat malnutrition and poverty, especially among children, to help reduce deaths due to easily preventable diseases.
What we Do
Dr. Patel and volunteer physicians visit Kenya twice a year to perform free cardiovascular surgeries to the poor and disadvantaged in Kenya. In 2009, Dr Patel implanted internal defibrillators to jump start suddenly failing hearts and placed multi chamber pacing systems into patients at Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Global FICS also provides medical services to AIDS orphans and street children and supports women suffering with HIV. They provide feeding programs to combat malnutrition in the schools and train local Kenyans, via workshops, on prevention of diseases and how to cope with diseases once you have them. Lack of knowledge, combined with the lack of basic services; also contribute to the spread of communicable diseases such as HIV. Global FICS works with every major hospital in Kenya and major medical providers in the US such as Shering-Plough and MERCK.
About our Founder, Dr. Parag V. Patel
Dr. Patel is the Director of Cardiology Fellowship and the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. During his first visit to Kenya in 1989 as a first year medical student at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Iowa, Dr. Patel witnessed firsthand the lack of basic medical supplies such as a simple stethoscope. He also noticed undertrained medical workers dealing with overwhelming numbers of patients and routinely watched patients die from easily preventable diseases. Born in Kenya and raised in America, Dr. Patel then began sending medical equipment and supplies to help improve access to medical care for disadvantaged Kenyans. Dr. Patel soon began performing free cardiovascular surgeries and in 2003, Global FICS was born.
Healthcare Problems in Kenya (UN statistics)
• 3.8 million people in need of immediate food relief
• 47.2 years is the life expectancy
• 33% of all Kenyans are malnourished
• Over 2 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS
• 180,000 people die of AIDS each year
• 1.4 million AIDS orphans
• 79 of 1,000 babies die at birth
• 20% of children under 5 are underweight