Senior Israeli doctors treat Iraqi children with heart diseases

Published: 18 October 2007
Briefing Number 204

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•  Top Israeli doctors screened 40 Iraqi children with heart disease at a one-day cardiology clinic which they set up in the Jordanian capital of Amman on 9 October 2007 .

•  The children made the journey from Iraq , accompanied by their parents. They were aged from a few months, to 14 years. They were met by the Israeli medical team.

•  Two children – a 5 month old girl and an 11 year old boy – were taken to Israel for potentially life-saving treatment.

•  Top Israeli doctors from the Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon , in central Israel , took part in the project:

•  Dr Akiva Tamir, the Centre's Head of Child Cardiology;
•  Dr Alona Raucher-Sternfeld, a child cardiologist; and
•  Dr Sion Houri, the Director of Child Intensive Care at the Centre.

•  The project was welcomed by the parents of the children (quotes taken from Israel21c, 10 October 2007 )

“ Israel is a good country; it has mercy on other people” said the mother of one child.

“I am grateful to the Israeli doctors and to their country for helping us out”, said another parent. “The Israelis are not our enemies…. they helped me a lot and didn't make me feel like they were enemies. Many Muslims have wrong ideas about Israelis….”

•  Logistical support for the project was provided by a Christian group, and the medical facilities were provided by the Red Crescent Hospital in Amman .

•  The project was organised by the Israeli humanitarian organisation Save a Child's Heart (SACH). In total, a total of 35 Iraqi children have previously been treated by SACH, including 18 who have had heart operations.

•  Save A Child's Heart is an Israeli project to provide life-saving heart surgery for children from developing countries. Since 1996 SACH has treated more than 1700 children from 28 countries, including Ethiopia , Zanzibar , Rwanda , Moldova , Vietnam and China .

•  Almost half of the children given heart treatment by SACH have been Palestinian Arabs, Jordanians, Iraqis and other Arabs.

•  The heart operations for the Palestinian, Iraqi and other children are provided for free.


Press release from Save A Child's Heart, 10 October 2007 ; report on on 10 October 2007 . And see the website of Save A Child's Heart:

Further Beyond Images resources:

See Israel 's Democratic and Humanitarian Principles and Israel : Making The World A Better Place – each from the Beyond Images homepage.