Israeli organisation to set up cardiology centre in Rwanda

Health Minister Diane Gashumba inspects children who underwent cardiac surgery at Wolfson Medical Centre in Israel in July this year. / File

A group of businesspeople and doctors from Israel is in Rwanda to formally initiate the first steps that will lead to the establishment of a centre of excellence in pediatric cardiology and other diseases.

This was revealed on Friday by Roy Gordon, the Vice President of Mitrelli Group, a company that finances the activities of Save a Child’s Heart.

Save a Child’s Heart is a humanitarian organisation that is championing the setup of the Centre.

It has been working with the Government through the Ministry of Health for the past three years, supporting medical care for children with cardiac diseases.

Gordon is in Rwanda with two members of Mitrelli Group and Save a Child’s Heart Chief Surgeon and the organisation’s Director.

“The purpose of the visit is to conduct initial discussions with the Ministry of Health and the general director of King Faisal Hospital and our intention is to establish a centre of excellence under which medical treatments for children will be given,” he told The New Times.

He highlighted that they intend to launch a centre at King Faisal Hospital, which will conduct operations, medical procedures, and other medical processes that will rise according to the needs of patients.

Such a centre would be a slightly different but quite similar standard with Wolfson Medical Center in Israel, where more than 20 Rwandan children have so far received medical support.

The centre will comprise an operating room, intensive care unit and a cardiac recovery ward.

In the long term, he said, the idea is to create a core team of doctors that will be trained, especially in Israel, who will then return to Rwanda and train local doctors, surgeons, cardiologists, and nurses in order to increase the number of operations that can be conducted in the country.

“This will help Rwandan children and over a period of time, we think that this would enable Rwandan doctors to be able to conduct medical procedures on children from other surrounding countries,” he said.

Currently, in Rwanda, it is expensive to receive cardiac care abroad. For instance, a patient seeking heart treatment abroad spends over $5000 or Rwf4.3 million, minimum.

The centre would contribute to bringing the necessary solutions to the challenge.

If nothing changes, they say, it would take about a year before the centre is up.

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