Doctors from Dubai Health Authority are performing free heart surgery on more than 100 children in India to correct congenital cardiac abnormalities.
The surgeries are being carried out as part of the Nabadat Initiative, which was launched by Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment (MBRCHE), in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), to provide free treatment to children whose parents cannot afford to pay.
Children aged between newborn and 14 years will receive treatment between July 7 and 13. Some will travel more than 1,200km with their families to undergo the surgery.
The team has performed 51 procedures – 32 open heart surgeries and 19 catherizations – at Fortis Fortis Hospital, Mulund and S. L. Raheja, a Fortis Associate Hospital in Mumbai, so far.
They are also conducting free paediatric cardiac check-ups to screen as many children as possible during the seven-day workshop.
“The Nabadat initiative is one of the many humanitarian initiatives undertaken by the UAE globally,” said Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of the DHA.
“It reflects the values of our Founding Father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and those of our wise leadership. Children are the future and this initiative helps provide them with an opportunity to lead a normal healthy life.”
The initiative covers the complete cost of care and provides logistical support to the medical team. Some of the cases are complicated and require multiple treatments.
“Many of the cases were ventricular septal defect, which is a hole between the two pumping chambers of the heart,” said Dr Obaid Al Jassim, Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Dubai Hospital.
“Normally such cases are not complicated; however, since many of the children had long-standing untreated congenital disease the cases were more complex than usual.”
Doctors working with Nabadat, which means heartbeat in Arabic, have visited Sudan three times, and provided free heart surgeries to children in Addis Ababa, Mauritania, Egypt and Tajikistan, among others.