Three Rwandan children with congenital heart disease were sent to Israel on Monday, October 4, 2021, for lifesaving heart surgery, through a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Save a Child’s Heart and Rwanda’s Ministry of health.
Save a Child’s Heart is an Israeli humanitarian organization, working internationally to save the lives of children from countries where access to pediatric cardiac care is limited or nonexistent.
Founded in 1995 at the Wolfson Medical Center and operating at the Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital, the organization has so far saved the lives of nearly 6,000 children from 62 countries, mainly Africa.
“I am very happy that my child is going to receive treatment. I was worried about his future, but going forward it will not be the case. I am very grateful to the Government of Rwanda and Save a Child’s Heart that made this possible,” said Olive Uwineza, a mother of a one-year-old child who is part of the latest group that went for treatment in Israel under the partnership.
According to 14 year-old Miriam Ngendahayo who is also among the beneficiaries, she is happy that she will miss classes no more owing to her sickness.
“Because of my health condition, I used to miss classes often, which would affect my academic performance. I am happy that this will no longer be the case after the surgery,” she explained.
Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, accompanied the three children to the Kigali International Airport and commended the partnership between Save a Child’s Heart and Rwanda that is saving lives of Rwandan children.
“We are expecting ten more children to go for the same treatment soon,” he added.
So far, in total, 22 Rwandan children went for treatment in Israel under the partnership between Save a Child’s Heart and the Government of Rwanda.
According to Simon Fisher, Executive Director of Save a Child’s Heart, the number is expected to increase.
“A new MOU was signed in Kigali after a meeting between Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije and Save a Child’s Heart supporter Sylvan Adams whereby Save a Child’s Heart will treat 70 children with joint funding from the Rwanda Ministry of Health and Save a Child’s Heart,” he said.
As part of the MoU, Fisher added, the two sides expressed intentions to promote the training of a local team that will be able to treat children with heart disease in Rwanda through training in Israel and in neighbouring countries.