Dubai, UAE: Surgeons have successfully treated 20 Emirati and expatriate children with heart abnormalities, free of charge, through an charity initiative.
The children underwent open-heart surgeries and catheterisation procedures performed by a team of cardiologists from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and visiting surgeons from Saudi Arabia.
The humanitarian initiative was organised by the DHA and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment. More than 350 children have benefitted from the programme.
"This philanthropic initiative is to support children with congenital heart diseases whose families cannot afford to pay for their treatment," Eisa Al Maidour, director-general of DHA, said.
Dr Obaid Al Jasem, head of the cardiothoracic surgery department at Dubai Hospital, said the procedures on the children will continue until Saturday. "We expect to complete 26 catheterisation and open heart surgeries," he said.
Among the patients is one-year-old Dana, who underwent surgery to rectify a hole in her heart. Her mother is happy that her child will now be able to lead a normal life. The surgery would have normally cost her Dh250,000.
Dubai Hospital will host three more workshops this year. The team will also travel to Sudan and the Philippines to treat children with congenital heart defects, who cannot afford the cost of treatment. "We study the cases that we receive and prioritise them according to the medical condition of the child. We also receive cases from abroad and we have treated children from various countries that come to Dubai for this initiative," Al Jasem said.
To enquire about the next workshop for free heart surgeries, contact Dubai Hospital at 04 219 5000.
© Gulf NewsJan 2014