Tanzania Mission

May 2016

On March 5, 2016, a Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) medical team from Wolfson Medical Center travelled to the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for a week of lifesaving heart surgery and Catheterizations alongside the Tanzanian team. The teams saved over 30 children suffering from heart disease and screened 125 children.

Operating Room, Cath Lab, Cardiology Clinic and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit teams worked day and night performing open heart surgery and lifesaving cathertizations, as well as screening children and following up on past patients.

Dr. Lior Sasson, SACH Lead Surgeon worked with Dr. Godwin Godfrey, Tanzania’s first Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon who’s six years training in Israel was sponsored by the Australian Pratt Foundation. Assisting them was Dr. Yayu Mekonnen who is currently training with SACH to become Ethiopia’s first Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon. The SACH medical mission at JKCI was sponsored by Save a Child’s Heart Canada.

During the mission an unveiling ceremony took place at the hospital for a plaque in recognition of the Australian Pratt Foundation’s generous support towards Save a Child’s Heart Israel Capacity Building Project at the JKCI. The plaque was placed on the third floor in the waiting area between the Pediatric Department and the PICU and Operating Rooms. Israeli Deputy Ambassador to Tanzania and Kenya Nadav Peldman, and German Deputy Ambassador to Tanzania John Reyels, were both in attendance. Also present at the unveiling were Mr. Zainul Dossa, President of the Dar es Salaam Rotary Club, a local foundation supporting the work at the hospital, and the Chief Medical Officer representing the Tanzanian Ministry of Health.

Israeli and American volunteers joined the team and helped in different departments. Jack Mayer, SACH executive director in the US West Coast traveled to Tanzania with Los Angeles based volunteers Mare Smooke and Suzanna Adler. They were joined by SACH supporters Gary and Carol Winkler, the parents of the late SACH Young Leadership Coordinator, Lauren Winkler, who tragically passed away two years ago. From Israel the team was joined by Dafna Jackson, the Personal Assistant of SACH longtime supporter and donor Morris Kahn and her sister Orly Jackson.

A huge thank you to our medical team: Dr. Lior Sasson, Dr. Akiva Tamir, Dr. Alona Raucher Sternfeld, Dr. Sagi Assa, Dr. Ilan Cohen, Chaya Musari, Olga Gor, Dr. Rijini Nugzar, Nava Gershon, Irina ​Nosal, Marianna Genshaft, Dr. Zehavit Ziev Ner, Lidia Rehany, Dr. Yayehyirad Mekonnen Ejigu, Svetlana Korn , Anat Mastor, Yigal Sofer, Kateryna Tomkovych, Itzak Meirovich, Tal Sela, Svetlana Katsovich, Larisa Rosenshtein, Dr. Racheli Sion Sarid, Revital Cohen, Olga Erlich, Natalya Manevich, andArsen Arutiunian, as well as Yoram Shimon Benita,Simon Fisher, Randi Weiss, and Nir Katz.