BY INNOCENT GAHIGANA
Four Rwandan children suffering from heart diseases are in Israel where they will be operated at the Wolfson Medical Center.
The quartet, all below 15 years of age and accompanied by a nurse and two mothers, arrived in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
Officials said this is the first batch of a dozen children to be operated at Wolfson Medical Center through the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) partnership with King Faisal Hospital, Kigali.
Last March, SACH medical team visited Faisal Hospital and diagnosed more than a dozen children with heart diseases that need operation.
Dr Joseph Mucumbitsi, the Head of Paediatric Cardiology unit at Faisal and his Israeli counterpart Dr Akiva Tamir from Wolfson Medical Center were in charge of the screening team.
On Thursday, Dr Mucumbitsi explained: “We have sent four children. Unfortunately, they were supposed to be five but one died before departure.”
Another child was due to be sent as a replacement for the one who died, Dr Mucumbitsi added.
He said that the government will pay for two children at $5000 (about Frw2.7m) each while the other two are free of charge.
Simon Fisher, the Executive Director of SACH told the Israel News Agency on Tuesday that ‘Rwanda represents the 28th country patterning with Save a Child’s Heart.’
He said that over 30 per cent of the children being treated by SACH come from Africa. “But whether it’s the poor from any other nation worldwide we are here and ready to save lives,” he said
Since 1995, the SACH medical team of skilled doctors, nurses and paramedics have grown to over 70 members and operated hundreds of children.