May 11 – 18, 2024 

We are warmly invited for a one-week mission to Zambia’s only Heart Care Center in the country. Zambia is a landlocked country with a tropical climate at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa.  In 1964, it became independent of the UK and the Prime Minister became President.  Zambia contains many natural resources including minerals, copper mining, wildlife, forestry, freshwater and arable land.  

The World Bank has named it one of the worlds fastest economically reformed countries.  It is racially and ethnically diverse with 73 distinct ethnic groups with  73 different languages.  The official language for business and education however is English.  According to the NIH cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity (includes RHD).   

The National Heart Hospital: 

This hospital was built by the South Korean Government on an extended loan. Cardiology/Surgery is only just beginning in its development. In 2022 and the beginning of 2023, visits from a Japanese interest group, also a tele-video peri-operative conference has already been conducted in collaboration with the University of Michigan who will visit in January ’24.  The  local team have started cardiac surgery but are concerned to maintain a high standard in all aspects of peri-operative heart care to retain recognition and financial support from the Government. They are seeking our help.  They would value our help with a focused mission to teach adult cardiac surgery, interventional and community cardiological techniques.  They also want teaching in several areas including basic principles of ACLS/ATLS management with practical stations, to help them take on more challenging caseloads.  

Help is needed in Interventional Cardiology – especially with new techniques.  Additionally, one cardiologist will be asked to give rural clinic support will include screening, Rheumatic Fever and Dental advise.  The mission may also include Orphanage assistance.

 Team required (Adult Focused)

  • 2 cardiac surgeons
  • 2 anesthesiologists
  • 1 intensivist
  • 2 Cardiologists (one interventional and one outreach)
  • 1 Echo tech (outreach
  • 1 perfusionist and assistant/student
  • 4 adult CV ICU nurses 
  • 2 ACLS/ATLS/PARAMEDIC instructors who will also assist with Outreach
  • 1 Database Research Scribe
  • 1 Dental Hygienist
  • 1 Mission Coordinator

Dr. Chileshe Mutema is Chief of Cardiac Surgery.


Airfare costs will be self-funded by each volunteer.  Popular flight corridors to Lusaka typically pass through London, Zurich, Frankfurt or Amsterdam.  Some pass-through Ethiopia then on to Lusaka. Ethiopian Airlines is safe.  In selecting your airfare, first select the most convenient international embarkation point from your home state, as domestic travel from the point of origin can be negotiated separately and sometimes, much cheaper. Keep in mind that cost of tickets relates to the busiest flight corridors which may allow you to secure cheaper fares. Whenever possible, try to choose one airline or one that coach shares so that baggage arrival is more likely. Interested volunteers will be asked to fund their own airline ticket, insurance, immunizations recommended by their physician and one evening meal per day.  US passport holders do not require a VISA.


Hotel, breakfast, and lunch are provided. This will be provided by our hosts. Volunteers should expect that they may be asked to agree to same-sex room sharing to help reduce the costs incurred.  CardioStart will assure minimum standards to ensure volunteer safety and comfort, but we will try to be sensitive to the financial burden borne by the local officials.  


Breakfast will be freely provided by the hotel. During the day, meals will be available and provided for by the hospital.   Evening meals/snacks, etc. are available  in the hotel or local restaurants, at volunteers own expense.  They are generally of a high standard and inexpensive.


Zambia is listed as a Level 1 security risk (exercise reasonable caution) on the website Travel.State.Gov.  As with most countries, random petty crime and targeting of LGBTI westerners have occasionally occurred.  The hospital and surrounding areas are safe according to our scout mission experience.  Further updated advisories will be given to those who apply to join this mission.  Volunteers will be met at the airport, and safely escorted by bus from the hotel during the week. 

Volunteer Medical issues: 

(Full details will be sent to those volunteers joining this mission). We recommend that all volunteer activity is carried out applying full HIV precautionary measures as used in your own hospital.   You should have a routine check before travel of your HIV and Hepatitis a/b/c status. Vaccinations must include a current Yellow Fever if you are traveling from a previously known yellow fever location, and tetanus protection (within 10 years) with certification.  Malaria and Dengue are risks, and volunteers will be advised to take malaria prophylaxis just before the mission and those with serious medical conditions should obtain consultation and approval from their doctor prior to the mission.  You should bring mosquito repellant spray and be cautious in regard to clothing/exposure. Please see the CDC website for international travel guidelines.

Applying to join the team:

  Simply contact us soon by going in to our website and registering your interest at If accepted, you will then receive a Selection letter listing all the required documents.  There is a $50 (USD) registration fee to be paid on the website as a donation”. This helps us in our  preparation and mailing of documents to Zambia’s Ministry of Health.   Selection will be offered to those on the previously deferred list first and according to positions needed for the team.

All pre-mission information will be sent by e-mail.  Therefore, we request you give us your personal e-mail address (not employment address) so that you can receive electronically derived information and attachments about the mission. (Volunteers using hospital or company web servers sometimes find that their institutions spam filters block attachments and group mailings). You must make sure your passport has more than six months before expiration and your documentation and medical credentials are ready to scan and send us. 

Our clinical help. How we can prepare: 

We need help with ICU disposables, central lines, oxygenators for heart surgery bypass, bio-prosthetic valves and general medical equipment and disposables to donate to the Hospital.  They have also asked for adult size retractors. 

The Cecil Rhodes Bridge

If you hear of any equipment to donate, please contact our St. Petersburg office. (  Please ALWAYS obtain written consent from your department Head, when receiving donations from hospitals. We can provide a disclaimer to the donating institution and tax information.  ALL volunteers will be asked to support the teaching and formal lecture role, when possible. You will also be expected to assist with carrying medical items in your luggage. Please indicate if it is possible for you to assist with a second check luggage. 


Zambia has large national jungle parks and game reserves throughout the country. Collectively they contain an abundant diversity of fauna, (buffaloes, roan antelopes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, hippopotamus, hyenas, giant forest hogs, lions, and leopards), as well as fascinating and diverse flora.

The beautiful world-famous Victoria Falls location is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the world, and is only 6 hours travel east of Lusaka by bus. It is best to combine with an overnight stay at one of the several luxurious local hotels there. The Zambezi River has the largest sheet of falling water in the world with a drop of 355ft.  Various tours are available with white-water rafting, etc.  CardioStart mission leaders cannot directly help you make internal tourist travel arrangements, nor accept any responsibility, but you can usually obtain cheap travel packages during the week you arrive.  Any tour arrangements should be scheduled for the time after the mission ends.  

Apply to the team: click here.