Israel to provide free heart surgery for children

By Kidega Livingstone
More than 31 children with heart complications have been screened at Al-Sabah Children’s Hospital by a team of Israeli cardiologists.
The two-day screening exercise was initiated by government of Israel in collaboration with South Sudan government to save the lives of children with heart diseases.
As of yesterday, at least eight children were registered to be taken to Israel for heart surgery.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Chief Podiatric Cardiologist unit of Save the Child’s Heart,Dr. Akive Tamir said the initiative came following Hanan Goder, Israeli Ambassador to South Sudan’s approach to convince the organisation to come and rescue the lives of children in South Sudan.
He said heart disease is very common in children in the country given the results from their screening.
Dr. Tamir said the result showed that most cases of heart diseases affecting children were theatrical, caused by bacteria as well as blockage in valves in the heart that affect blood circulation in the heart system.
“Ambassador Goder approached our organisation because our organisation existed for twenty years helping children who have heart problems. We hoped that we shall keep coming to South Sudan so that they get heart surgical services in Israel,” .
“There are few children with a very bad case. We have one who may not survive if we happen to take her for surgical because of the delay in treatment as well as moving in a higher altitude by plane,” he added.
Dr. Tamir said it was a good start in South Sudan, and that will continue with the initiative.
According to Dr. Tamir, they have treated more than 500 children from 60 countries worldwide including in Tanzania,Kenya,Ethiopia,and Congo.
Head of Children Ward at Al-Sabah Children’s Hospital, Mr.Joseph Gore Elia welcomed the move by the Israeli government. He said there are many cases of heart disease registered at the hospital monthly that needs more attention from the government.
“We have screened sixteen yesterday and today we are going to screen more twenty two children in the lists and some of them will be taken to Israel for heart surgery. I know there are many processes to move on but is a good thing for South Sudanese parents because the lives of our children will be safe,” said Gore.
Meanwhile the Ambassador of Israel to South Sudan,Goder told Juba Monitor South Sudanese will continue to benefit from the Israeli initiative because of strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Ambassador this year, the government of Israel with take the fourth batch of students to Israel for “learn and earn” agriculture training.

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