Israeli NGO recommended for special status on ECOSOC

Save a Child's Heart, which works to save children with heart conditions around world, bids for accreditation on prestigious UN Council.

May 24, 2011 10:49
2 minute read.
Simon Fisher, director of SACH.

simon fisher SACH_311. (photo credit: Sheila Shalhevet)


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An Israeli NGO that strives to save children with heart conditions in developing countries across the world by either bringing them to Israel for life saving operations or training doctors in the various countries to provide improved pediatric cardiac care has been recommended for special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) works across borders bringing children in need of heart transplants or medical treatment from around the globe to Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center. The organization provides training for doctors and medical staff either in their own countries or brings them to Israel for in-depth post-graduate training.

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“We are thrilled to receive this recognition from the UN,” commented the organization’s Executive Director Simon Fisher. “We hope this status will open doors for us so that we can reach more children in need of treatment in the poorest corners of the world.”

The organization said in a statement that accreditation to this UN committee will also allow them access to subsidiary bodies at the UN, such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Commission on Population Development, and the Commission on the Status of Women. In addition, ECOSOC consultative status also allows for participation in the Human Rights Council and many of the human rights treaty bodies of the UN, the organization’s spokeswoman explained.

“Sustainable Development is a core value of Save a Child’s Heart,” said Fisher. “It is why we not only bring children to Israel for surgery, but we also bring doctors for training. This is how we are able to expand our impact exponentially, as the doctors who receive this training return to their home countries better equipped to treat children.”

Some 56 physicians and nurses from a host of countries including: China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Moldova, Nigeria, the Palestinian Authority, Romania, Russia, Tanzania and Vietnam have been trained by the organization.

This summer, a group of doctors, supporters and volunteers working with or trained by the organization will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise funds to save the lives of more than 100 children in desperate need of treatment in Africa.

Dr. Godwin Godfrey from Tanzania, one of those involved in this fund-raising effort, said: “The training I am receiving from Save a Child’s Heart, will do nothing less than enable me to go home to Africa and save children’s lives.”

According to information provided by the organization, SACH has rescued over 2,600 children worldwide since its foundation in 1995. In addition, its doctors have examined and evaluated more than 6,000 children from 42 countries around the world.

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