About 43 Rwandan children sent to Israel for heart treatment have undergone life-saving surgery successfully, according to Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israel-based international non-profit organisation with a mission of saving children with severe congenital and acquired heart defects. The milestone is one of the results of a partnership between the organisation and the Ministry of Health. It was signed in 2017. With the agreement, a total of 70 Rwandan children will be sent to Israel for treatment. Rwandan doctors will also be sent to the country for an internship programme and will return to treat Rwandan children and other children from different countries, according to the agreement. The most recent group sent to Israel for heart treatment consisted of 10 children. They departed in early August. Six-year-old Amuza Munezero is among them. He lives in the City of Kigali. When he was one-year-old, he had a terrible stomach-ache and breathing pain which made his mother take him to the health centre to see a doctor. Munezero was diagnosed with a heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). TOF is a combination of four heart defects all present at birth: A ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the wall (septum) between the lower chambers (ventricles); narrowed passage from the heart to the lungs (pulmonary stenosis; the aorta lies over the VSD (overriding aorta); and thickened right ventricle. The critical congenital heart defect affects the structure of the heart and results in oxygen-poor blood flowing from the heart to the rest of the body. Munezero and his mother travelled alongside nine other children and their mothers from Rwanda to Israel with the anticipation of having their lives saved. On August 23, he underwent a life-saving cardiac surgery at the Ida Cabakoff International Paediatric Cardiac Centre (IPCC) for SACH in Israel. According to SACH, after Munezero returned to the organisation’s children’s home for the rest of his recovery process, the doctors discovered that she was getting along nicely with all the other children regardless of language and country. The SACH team is happy to see Munezero’s improvement and is glad they’ve been able to mend his heart and send him back home for a healthy and productive life. 12-year-old Fabiyola Munyana who lives in Kayonza District was also treated. When she was six months old, she had difficulty breathing and would get very tired so she was taken to a clinic to get seen by a doctor. She too was diagnosed with TOF. Munyana and her aunt travelled to Israel and on August 24, Munyana also underwent a life-saving cardiac surgery. The team is happy to see Munyana’s improvement and are glad they’ve been able to mend her heart. When he escorted the children at Kigali International Airport, Ron Adam, Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, commended the partnership as well as the fruitful relations between Israel and Rwanda. “We are happy to see Rwandan children receiving lifesaving heart treatment in Israel. This partnership stems from the good ties between Israel and Rwanda, and it is one of the many existing areas of cooperation,” he said.