CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A team of doctors from the University of Virginia is helping improve the heart health of patients in Africa. The group traveled to Zambia two weeks ago to perform heart screenings, and work with the medical team at the University of Zambia.

In Zambia, rheumatic heart disease, which results from not treating strep throat or scarlet fever is high, and doctors there aren't fully equipped to treat it. That's why UVA Doctor Sula Mazimba wanted to go back to his home country to screen and help treat patients with the disease.

During the group's time in Africa, they screened 30 patients, six of whom were found to have the heart disease.

Dr. Mazimba and his team also worked with doctors at the University of Zambia teaching hospital to teach them techniques to treat rheumatic heart disease.

"As clinicians there's a big commitment to global health and bridging disparities, and so a lot of physicians are more than willing to actually go on these mission trips,” Mazimba said. "When we came back, there were a lot of people who were actually signing up for the next mission trip.”

These doctors used their own personal time to complete this mission. They say it's rewarding to be able to help these African men and women, and to also share knowledge about the most up to date techniques with other doctors.

The UVA team plans to head back to Zambia at the beginning of the summer with a surgical team to treat more patients.