Israel does good in Tanzania...
I wish this was on the evening news...
A medical team from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart has successfully performed the first ever pediatric open heart surgery in Mwanza Tanzania and on the youngest child in Tanzania.
Laurencia Simon is four years old, the daughter of two farmers, and lives in a mud hut without electricity or running water. Two years ago she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Due to a lack of infrastructure, finance and training, doctors in Tanzania are unable to perform open heart surgery on such young children and so they were unable to help her. After hearing an announcement on the radio she and her mother settled into a three hour bus ride to Mwanza as they knew the only hope for Laurencia’s very serious heart condition was to receive care from the Save a Child’s Heart medical team.
“For the past two years, Laurencia has been too sick to go to school,” says Laurencia’s mother Paulina Bujiku, 27 yrs old. “We’ve been coming to the Bugando medical center once a month. But what Laurencia needs is an operation. Thanks to Save a Child’s Heart she’s about to get it. I’m scared, but I have faith.”
After a long surgery on Friday, Laurencia is recovering well.
“It required incredible team work to create an operating room that could meet our needs,” says Dr. Lior Sasson, Chief Surgeon Save a Child’s Heart and Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Wolfson Medical Center. “But we did it- we created an environment where we could carefully and conscientiously perform open heart surgery and we saved the life of little Laurencia. What can I say- I feel incredibly proud.”
Save a Child’s Heart doctors and staff worked in collaboration with the staff at the Bugando hospital in Mwanza Tanzania and Kasbian Nuriel Chirich, Honorary Consul to Israel in Tanzania, to prepare for this moment. And all the hard work paid off, as children with heart disease came from across Tanzania to be examined by the Save a Child’s Heart team of doctors.
“There are about 200 sick Tanzanian children who will be examined by the Save a Child’s Heart team,” says Dr. Akiva Tamir, Chief cardiologist at Save a Child’s Heart and the head of the Pediatric Cardiology Unit at Wolfson Medical Centre. “I am checking over 20 children every day and we all are committed to doing whatever it takes to help them and save their lives.”