UAE medics will show they are all heart when they travel to Sudan on Friday to save the lives of 50 children who were born with coronary defects.
The team from Dubai Health Authority has been given a limitless budget to perform 20 open heart surgeries. It is the first overseas task for the Nabadat initiative team.
The doctors will also perform 30 ‘cardio-caths’ - a procedure that involves inserting a wire in a patient’s groin. It stretches arteries and valves. The medical team was presented with 250 cases of Sudanese children aged from newborn to 19.
Dr Ahmed Al Kamali, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Dubai Hospital, said: “We filter cases and do the most urgent first. We also take children who can’t afford surgery.”
The week-long trip is the first to another country by the team from Nabadat since the programme was launched in 2007 by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Charity. Nabadat means heartbeat in Arabic. The doctors will be joined by specialists from the King Faisal Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Since its launch, Nabadat has treated more than 300 children.
Dr Obaid Al Jassim, head of cardiothoracic surgery at Dubai Hospital, said: “The hospital we selected in Sudan conducts adult open heart surgeries but does not perform these surgeries for children.” Jassim added: “They can diagnose the children, but they don’t have the manpower to perform the surgery. This is a super-speciality that takes a lot of expertise.”
The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment provides free medical assistance, surgery and aftercare to expat children in the UAE who wish to benefit from the Nabadat initiative. Funding for Emirati children is provided by the DHA. Nabadat also hopes to treat children in Egypt, Yemen and Iraq in the future.
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