Twenty Rwandan children suffering from severe heart diseases are going to Israel to undergo heart surgery, on the partnership of Ministry of Health and Save a Child Heart Foundation.
The Save Child’s Heart team will screen 70 children at Kigali Teaching Hospital, 20 among them with severe cases; will be immediately transferred to Israel with all costs covered.
Save a Child’s Heart Foundation is an Israeli nongovernmental organisation with the mission of improving the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries and creating centres of competence in this part of the world.
Haim Taib, the president of Save Child’s Heart, said the foundation has been created to give back to the community from what they earn.
“After this mission the idea is to equip the cardiology ward with machines and other cardiology equipment for heart diseases treatment and deploy one permanent cardiologist so that the ward can function at 50 per cent and can sustain itself,” he said.
Projecting in five years, the foundation will help Rwanda to set up a pediatric cardiology centre which they believe will help to cut a big budget which was spent on transferring these kids abroad, and save as many as possible, he said.
Besides, two general practitioners are soon going to Israel to receive skills on pediatric heart diseases in a period of two years in terms of this starting partnership, he said.
The Minister of Health Diane Gashumba said every year, Rwanda spend more than Rwf500 million to transfer people abroad and the main cause of these transfers are non-communicable diseases, including cardiac diseases, kidney diseases and cancer, she said.
The cardiac diseases occupy 20 per cent of non-communicable diseases cases hospitals receive, she said.
“We are very thankful to Save Child’s Heart Foundation for their support. They were here three weeks ago and we talked. We didn’t think they would come back after this short time to screen children with heart diseases and bring others in Israel for Surgery. Thank you for making this happen,” she said.
Dr Emmanuel Rusingiza, a pediatrician focusing on cardiac cases at Kigali Teaching Hospital, the only hospital with the active consultation on pediatric cases with cardiology problems said they receive around 40 patients a week and 80% among them need surgery.
The big number in these cases are congenital cardiac diseases especially those under five, the rest between 8 and 20 years old have the particular cases, she said.
Jcqueline Mukanyarwaya who has an 11 month old baby with cardiac disease, had a chance to be chosen among 20 children to be treated in Israel.
She noticed her child has a problem about three months later, and she was hopeless for her baby as she was not able to bring him abroad herself.
“I’m very thankful to the Ministry of health and to these charity benefactors, now I can hope to see my baby safe,” she said.