Seventy (70) children who were diagnosed with heart illnesses, medically known as cardiovascular disease will be referred to Israel for treatment.
The development follows a partnership agreement that was signed between the Ministry of Health and Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli-based international non-profit organization in July 2018.
So far, the latest two children with Tetralogy of fallot (TOF) disease have undergone successful heart surgery and are reportedly responding to medication. Amuza Munezero, six years old and Fabiola Munyana, two years old were referred to Israel in August 2022.
TOF is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. The birth defects cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart into the rest of the body.
The risk factors include a viral illness such as rubella (German measles) during pregnancy, maternal alcoholism or a family history of the condition.
According to the World Health Organization, TOF Symptoms include blue-tinged skin and shortness of breath.
SACH officials say Munyana was operated on August 24 last year, a day after Munezero’s surgery.
“We are honored to have Fabiola’s life saved. It feels very holy and right. We trust SACH 100%,” Fabiola’s aunt said.
Since signing of the partnership agreement, forty one children have been treated.
Simon Fisher, the Executive Director said the number of children with cardiovascular disease to be referred to Israel for treatment will increase to 70.
According to the reports, in terms of partnership agreement, SACH shares costs with the government including transport, medical fees and stay in Israel.
In a similar arrangement, Rwandan doctors will also go to Israel for training.
“After this mission, the idea is to equip the cardiology ward with machines and other equipment for heart diseases treatment and deploy one permanent cardiologist so that the ward can function at 50% and can sustain itself,” Mr. Haim Taib, the President of SACH said during the partnership agreement signing.
The organization (SACH) was established in Israel in 1995 with the goal of raising the standard of pediatric cardiac care provided to children in underdeveloped nations and establishing centers of expertise there.
Over 120 medical professionals from those nations have received training from SACH since 1995, and the organization has treated over 5,000 children from 57 different nations.