Five Rwandan children, all suffering from serious heart disease, will undergo surgery at Wolfson Medical Center, as part of the humanitarian project "Save a Child’s Heart".

Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli-based, humanitarian organization, welcomes the arrival of its first group of children from Rwanda. The five children, who range in age from just a few months  to 15 years old, landed in Israel on Tuesday, August 14th, 2007, accompanied by a Rwandan nurse as well as by two mothers. They will undergo surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center.

Save A Child’s Heart provides life-saving heart surgery in Israel to children from developing countries.  Since 1996 children have come to SACH from countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zanzibar, Moldova, Vietnam and China. Close to half of the total number of children treated at SACH are Palestinian or from Arab countries, including Jordan and Iraq.  Follow-up care and capacity building are also an integral part of SACH’s core mission.

The arrival of the Rwandan children in Israel marks a new phase in the partnership between SACH and the people of Rwanda which began in mid-March 2007, during an inaugural visit by an Israeli medical team to Rwanda. The 48-hour visit included meetings with various officials and medical personnel striving for the development of an improved health care system in Rwanda. 

The SACH medical team visited the King Faisel Hospital in Kigali and met with Dr. Joseph Mucumbitsi, the Head of Pediatric Cardiology unit.  Dr. Mucumbitsi had previously contacted Save A Child’s Heart to request the organization’s assistance in rehabilitating and developing the Rwandan medical infrastructure and in treating complex pediatric cardiac cases among the nation’s children.

During the visit to Rwanda, Dr. Tamir, Head of the Pediatric Cardiology Department at Wolfson Medical Center, together with Dr. Mucumbitsi, screened over a dozen children who suffer from heart disease and selected the children to be brought to Israel for treatment. The Rwandan project is the latest of SACH’s humanitarian activities that have brought over 1700 children to Israel for heart surgery over the last 12 years from 27 different countries.