UAE launches cardiac care campaign in Syria

Partnership with local health services aims to address concerns over prevalence of heart disease

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The UAE has joined forces with health authorities in Syria to carry out crucial heart operations in underprivileged communities.

The Cardiac Care initiative will be carried out by Emirates Red Crescent in conjunction with the Health Directorate in the Latakia governorate, in north-western Syria, Al Bassel Cardiology Hospital in Latakia and a specialist medical team.

The project will offer catheterisation and heart operations, and help address concerns over the prevalence of heart disease in the area, state news agency Wam reported on Wednesday.

The support is part of Operation Gallant Knight 2, a co-ordinated humanitarian campaign established by President Sheikh Mohamed in response to the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey in February.

Mohammed Al Kaabi, head of the ERC delegation in Syria, said heart disease was a common concern during relief aid missions carried out by teams in several cities.

Dr Hawazen Makhlouf, director of Latakia Health Directorate, thanked the Emirates for its continued support of the country as it continued to rebuild after the natural disaster.

The confirmed death toll from the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Syria and Turkey neared 60,000, with millions more affected.

More than 8,000 died in Syria.

UAE delivers support

The UAE has sent 185 aid planes and three ships loaded with basic food, medicine and medical supplies since February to support Syrians.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the ERC, allocated Dh20 million ($5.4 million) for Ramadan programmes in Syria, assisting 160,000 displaced families.

Under the initiative, 19,371 Ramadan ration parcels were distributed in the Latakia governorate, with 2,700 meals delivered daily in Latakia, as well as in the Aleppo, Hama and Homs governorates.

During Eid Al Fitr, clothes were donated to 4,290 families in four governorates, helping 17,160 Syrians.

Additionally, 20,000 bags of rice and flour were given out in four governorates.

The UAE built 1,000 prefabricated homes in Latakia at a cost of Dh65 million to shelter families displaced by the earthquake, it was announced in April.

The ERC oversaw the project to house up to 6,000 people on the directive of Sheikh Mohamed.

The solar-powered homes each have two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom.

A medical team with four specialists was also established to serve more than 800 elderly people, women and children in Latakia.

Humanitarian aid continues to be provided to those in need.

Updated: June 15, 2023, 10:43 AM