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United in Earnest: First Pilot Sites for Increased Surgical Capacity for Rheumatic Heart Disease Announced by Cardiac Surgery Intersociety Alliance
The "Cape Town Declaration On Access to Cardiac Surgery in the Developing World" was published in August 2018, intending to signal a commitment of the global cardiac surgery and cardiology communities to improving care for the 33 million patients affected by rheumatic heart disease. The Cardiac Surgery Intersociety Alliance (CSIA) was subsequently formed as an international consortium of representatives from major cardiothoracic surgical societies and the World Heart Federation. This article describes the history of the CSIA, its formation, ongoing activities and future directions, including the announcement of pilot sites selected in low and middle income countries for CSIA support.