Israeli based Save A Child’s Heart, sent a multi-national team to Tanzania to assist a local hospital improve the cardiac care for children with heart disease.
By David Ruhm
A joint Israeli-German medical mission composed of teams from Wolfson Medical Center and the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin, earlier this month carried out a 5-day mission to Tanzania, the mission’s organizer told i24news.
The five-day mission, which began on Novermber 1, was organized by Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli-based non-profit organization, working around the world to improve the cardiac care for children from developing countries, and carried out in partnership with the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dar es Salaam.
The teams were welcomed by Dr. Godwin Godfrey, who was trained by SACH at the Wolfson Medical Center for six years, and is the first and only pediatric cardiac surgeon in his country, as well as Dr Naiz Majani, a pediatric cardiologist who also received his training from SACH in Israel and is now leading the pediatric cardiology unit at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute.
Shortly after arriving in Tanzania, mission members began preparing medical equipment and recovery beds for the children that would be operated.
Many of the families traveled for hours and even days to come see the doctors and have their children examined.
According to SACH, the teams also saw a number of children who were treated in Israel two years ago, noting their great recovery and health.
Two members of the Israeli medical team as well as SACH Executive Director, Simon Fisher left Tanzania on the fourth day of the mission to fly to Kenya where they were scheduled to hold a clinic to diagnose children with heart disease.
During the two day clinic they managed to screen 62 children in need of heart surgery, SACH told i24news.
SACH says the mission was a great success, with a total of 14 children undergoing catheterizations and dozens more having been screened and diagnosed by the trinational medical team.
Since being founded in 1995, SACH has carried out dozens of projects and has already saved the lives of over 4,000 children from Africa, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
SACH operates off of a yearly budget of $3.5 million, provided by donors from Israel and around the world, and has a staff of some 70 volunteers.
Roughly 50 percent of those treated by the group at the Wolfson Medical Center in the central Israeli city of Holon are Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza. In addition to the surgeries provided in Israel, SACH also sends its staff to train medical personnel in developing countries.
The program is supported by a number of organizations and countries, including the United Nations and the European Union, in addition to the Israeli government.
David Ruhm is a news editor at i24news
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