Five female team members from Save a Child’s Heart in Israel traveled to Zanzibar and, working alongside partners at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and a powerhouse team of five local female former Save a Child's Heart patients, successfully screened 428 children. The former patients, now grown up, volunteered their time to assist local families as they waited for urgently needed heart evaluations, care, and follow-ups for their children.
Dr. Omar Suleiman, a Director and Coordinator of Pediatric Cardiology at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, trained with Save a Child's Heart in Israel in 2009. Part of Save a Child's Heart’s mission involves bringing medical professionals to Israel to train in pediatric cardiology. Dr. Suleiman said the hospital is happy to partner with Save a Child's Heart.
"Our cooperation with Save a Child's Heart inspires us, and fills us with optimism. There is so much that needs to be done, so many children to save, and we are very grateful for this partnership and joint mission."
Dr. Omar Suleiman, Mnazi Mmoja Hospital
Meet our powerhouse volunteer team of past patients in Zanzibar! Each woman went to Israel more than 20 years ago for life-saving heart surgery with Save a Child’s Heart. They are now healthy and successful women who come every year to help us during our medical missions in Zanzibar. They are all a part of a local organization and charity for children with heart disease in Zanzibar.
The mission team met with the President of Zanzibar, Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Also present were Dr. Omar Suleiman and his team, Dr. Msafiri Marijan, Director, Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, and Zanzibar’s Minister of Health, Ahmed Nassor Mazrui.
“Having Save a Child's Heart be here, to help us, to assist us in treating these children is something that is highly appreciated. There are so many children who need help that there would have been no way for the government to treat all these children without your assistance, so we really appreciate that.”
President Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Zanzibar
During the Zanzibar mission, Save a Child's Heart checked in on our 5,000th patient, four-year-old Fatma, who came in for a heart check-up accompanied by her mother and baby brother. Fatma came to Israel in 2019 for a life-saving heart procedure just like her mother did 20 years before. Dr. Alona examined Fatma and saw that her heart is in excellent condition, but the team found that Fatma’s little brother will need the same procedure Fatma received. Save a Child's Heart has scheduled his necessary care.
Fifteen years ago in 2007, eight-year-old Sabrina came to Israel from Zanzibar for a life-saving catheterization with Save a Child's Heart. A few years later, Sabrina returned to Israel, but not for surgery… she came to volunteer! Sabrina invited Save a Child's Heart to her wedding that occurred while we were in Zanzibar on mission and was overjoyed to have the team present on her special day.
"Sabrina, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for including us in your special celebrations, and we can’t wait to see you continue to live your best and happy life."
Khadijah stopped by for a follow-up with her mother, who is a doctor at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital. Khadija came to Israel for surgery with Save a Child's Heart in 2018. Then, she was a shy little girl who struggled to breathe and play. After her surgery, she was a bright light in the children’s home playing with the other kids and volunteers.
“I thank Save a Child’s Heart for helping my baby, for treating her and giving her hope in life. I appreciate it and I thank you so much.”
– Kahdijah’ss mother
Meja came for treatment with Save a Child's Heart in Israel in 2002 and 2009. She is now 32 years old and is married. She remembers the Children’s Home and our housemother, Laura. She remembers the hospital as well.
Thank you to Save a Child’s Heart,” Meja said. “I am now well and able to live my life.”
Masoud was brought to Israel at the age of 18 months with an urgent heart condition. Her weight was six kilos and she was very blue. The heart defect she had is best addressed when a child is two months old. Today she is doing great, going to school, and reports that she feels wonderful.
Meet 15-year-old Daudi. Daudi came to Israel as a 10-year-old boy in 2017 for a repair of his rheumatic heart disease. In Israel, he was a light at the children’s home, singing, dancing, laughing, and making friends with all the volunteers and other children. Now Daudi, who loves going to school and studying biology, wants to be a doctor.
Meet Abdul, a pharmacist in Zanzibar who is married with one daughter. When he was nine, he was brought to Israel for two life-saving surgeries to repair damage from his rheumatic heart disease. When he returned to Zanzibar, Abdul was able to return to school, play soccer, and grow up to be the person he is today. Abdul let us know that he fondly remembers the hospital in Israel and the food at the children's home.
Zahrani is a 16-year-old who loves school (especially geography), going to the beach, and swimming. Three years ago, he was a patient with Save a Child's Heart in Israel where he underwent life-saving heart catheterization. In Israel, Zaharani loved socializing with other children and volunteers at the Children’s Home. We’re so glad he is doing well.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO SAVE
A CHILD'S HEART