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Home > Health
 
Dubai has a heart for free surgeries

Dhanusha Gokulan / 27 January 2013

The ‘Nabadat’ initiative, launched to save children with congenital heart problems in 2007, will now be expanding its services to different countries across the Middle East.

Nabadat, an initiative launched by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Mohammed bin Rashid Charity, provides free medical assistance, surgery and post-surgical care to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for treatment of congenital heart diseases.

More than 300 children with congenital heart diseases have been treated since its launch in 2007.

As part of the next phase, a team of surgeons and specialists from the UAE mapped out plans to travel to countries like Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Bangladesh and Egypt to treat children with the congenital diseases.

Dr Obaid Al Jasem, Head of Cardiology at the Dubai Hospital and one of the core members of the team, said: “As part of the treatment, we have been performing open heart surgeries and cardiac catheterisation on children. As per plan, we will try and visit Sudan by April. A lot of plans are still in the pipeline because we are still in talks with hospitals in the countries we plan to visit. We need to check if the hospitals have good infrastructure and a team of doctors who can take care of the patients.”

Dr Obaid added that the response from international hospitals has been fantastic so far. “Most of them are keen to partake in the programme,” he added.

“Apart from international trips, we’ve also planned screening programmes at government schools to test children for cardio myopathy,” said Dr Shahraban Abdullah, Consultant Paediatric Consultant, Latifa Hospital, Dubai, who is one of the consulting doctors on the team.

Since 2007, the initiative has organised 11 visits by international heart experts from Italy and Sweden to operate on children with congenital heart problems.

Dr Ahmed Mohammed Alkamali, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Head of Paediatric Department, Dubai Hospital, added: “The workshop has gained a lot of momentum outside the country and we have begun accepting abroad cases, as well. As part of this workshop, a patient from Yemen and another from Algeria came in for treatment.”

The treatment is open to both Emirati and expatriate patients. The doctors also suggested that treatment might be extended to adults.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

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