In developed countries of the world e.g. USA, Europe or Japan, there are more adults living with CHD than children. At first sight that seems odd but is explained by the fact that in these countries over 90% of babies
born with CHD will survive to become healthy and functional adults. In Africa however, the picture is very different. We estimate that at best, 90% of babies born with CHD never get the life-saving care and surgery they require so they die in infancy or childhood. When we started our work in Namibia in 2009 we noticed an interesting group of patients who despite having CHD for which they had never received treatment, had managed to survive.
This group of patients (called a cohort) were the subject of one of the first pieces of research done on CHD in Namibia.