As part of the Nabadat( heartbeat) program, since 2007, more than 300 children with congenital diseases have received free heart surgeries.
Initiative now heads to Sudan and DHA cardiologists will perform a series of open heart surgeries for Sudanese children in critical need of such surgeries.
United Arab Emirates, Dubai, June 4, 2013: The ‘Nabadat' initiative, launched in 2007, to provide free heart surgeries for children with congenital disease, will now be expanding its services to different countries across the globe.
The first country outside that UAE where such services will be provided is Sudan. DHA cardiologists will travel to Sudan on the 7th of June and will perform a series of open heart surgeries to Sudanese children in critical need of such surgeries.
The one-week workshop will take place 200 kilometres from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan in ‘Wad Madani' hospital.
Nabadat, which means heartbeat, is an initiative launched by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, to provide free medical assistance, surgery and post-surgical care to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for treatment of congenital heart diseases.
The DHA sponsors the treatment for Emiratis and the Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment sponsors treatment for expatriate patients.
His Excellency Ibrahim Bu Melha, deputy chairman of the board of trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment, said: “Nabadat is a symbol of hope for children with congenital heart diseases and their loved ones. It is our aim to reach out to those in need of our services and expanding this project abroad to places where such medical services are unavailable will help reach out to the youngest members of society who most require our medical care and attention.”
Dr Obaid Al Jassim, head of cardiothoracic surgery in Dubai Hospital, said: “The aim of the project is to reach out to as many children in need of these surgeries as possible and help provide them a new lease of life. We have seen the growth of the Nabadat project and therefore taking this initiative abroad is a logical extension. After the workshop in Sudan, the team will travel to other destinations mainly in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia.”
He added that during this workshop in Sudan, the team will perform 30 catherization procedures and 20 open heart surgeries. “The hospital we selected conducts adult open heart surgeries but does not perform these surgeries for children. So presently there are 250 children waiting for these surgeries, we have selected the most critical cases. The hospital has the infrastructure we require and a team of qualified doctors who can assist patients with follow-up care.”
Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al Karani, consultant paediatric cardiologist and head of paediatric department at Dubai Hospital, added that in addition to conducting surgeries for children in these countries, they will also carry out screening program. “Early detection is crucial for treating any disease especially chronic conditions such as congenital heart problems. Early detection is directly related to improved patient outcomes and therefore we will carry out screening programs in government schools in these countries to test children for cardio myopathy.”
Dr Ahmad Al Sharif, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, said: “ We are pleased to support this noble initiative and once these children recover, some of the prominent sports personalities including footballers will visit them in Sudan to celebrate their recovery.”
More than 300 children (newborns to 19 year olds) with congenital heart diseases have been treated since its launch in 2007.
Dr Jassim said that so far 11 workshops have been held in Dubai with experts from Italy and Sweden to provide high-quality cardiac treatment to children with congenital heart diseases.
The treatment is open to both Emirati and expatriate patients.
The DHA team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who perform these surgeries, include, Dr Obaid Al Jassim, Dr Ahmed Al Kamali, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Dubai Hospital, Dr Shahraban Abdullah Al Shari, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Latifa Hospital and Dr Sameer Sajwai, Paediatric Cardiac Specialist at Dubai Hospital.
Those interested in enquiring about the next workshop for free heart surgeries may contact Dubai Hospital on 219 5000.
**Press release from the Dubai Health Authority **