Israelis perform lifesaving surgery on 10 Tanzanians

Wolfson hospital sends delegation to save children with congenital heart defects.

Doctors perform surgery (photo credit: COURTESY SZMC)
Doctors perform surgery
(photo credit: COURTESY SZMC)
An Israeli delegation of 20 doctors, nurses and medical technicians has returned from Tanzania after performing lifesaving heart surgery on more than 10 local children and examining hundreds more with congenital heart defects.
The delegation traveled to the eastern African country under the auspices of Wolfson Medical Center’s Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) organization.
Some of the youngsters who were examined will be brought to Israel in a few months to undergo cardiac surgery at Wolfson.
Headed by surgeon Lior Sasson, the team was in Africa for a week to examine, treat and operate on children in Dar es Salam. Also on board was a young surgeon from Ethiopia whose name was given as Dr.
Yaio. He has been undergoing advanced training at the Holon hospital, and in another three years he will return to Ethiopia to work as his country’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon.
Godfrey Goodwin, a pediatric heart surgeon from Tanzania who underwent six years of training with Save a Child’s Heart, was head of the Tanzanian team that worked with the Israelis. Goodwin returned to his native country two years ago. Since then, he and colleagues have independently treated local children with heart defects even though they still needed Israel’s help in coping with the huge number of children who need medical help.
During the Israeli team’s visit, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, visited the Muhimbili National Hospital to thank its members.
The cooperation between Israel and Tanzania is part of the ongoing activities of SACH, which was established by the late Dr. Amiram Cohen and will this fall be celebrating 20 years of saving the lives of children from Israel and around the world.
On October 6, SACH will hold a festive gala at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium to be emceed by comedian Tzvika Hadar. The singer Rita, the Ra’anana Symphonetta and other performers will also appear. Proceeds will go toward the construction of Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital.