Israeli Female team Travels to Zanzibar for screening mission

Save a Child's Heart and local partners Team up to screen 278 CHILDREN

Our annual women's mission went back in Zanzibar to screen and connect with past patients. The all-female medical team from Save A Child's Heart Israel hosted a clinic in Pemba for the first time, and returned to Stonetown. No cardiologist or echo machine is available to those who need it on the island, so having the team visit and work with local partners provides a huge opportunity for these families.

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Four local women from Zanzibar who are also former Save a Child's Heart patients volunteered their time to help the mission.
First image from left to right: Arafa Kombo Suwedi, Arafa Abdalla Ali, Awena Othman Salum, and Raya Salum Suleiman.
Second image: Tamar Shapira, Nava Gershon, Yifat Brosh, Dr. Alona Raucher, and Debbie Silver.

Wonder Women Volunteers of Zanzibar

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.

Screening hundreds of children in need

Our mission started after a 20-hour journey to Pemba. When we arrived, hundreds of families waited for us outside. Dr. Alona Raucher Sternfeld and echo technician Yifat Brosch began examining the children, while head nurse Nava Gershon set up everything needed for the registration and administration of the clinic. There are no pediatricians in this hospital. Dr. Omar Suliman and Nurse Aziza, from Mnazi Mmoja hospital in Stonetown, accompanied us and worked alongside us in the clinic.

We are committed to providing outstanding care for both new and returning patients. As we always say, "Once a SACH child, always a SACH child." 

We are very happy that the Israeli team came to Pemba to hold this clinic. There are many children in this island in need of lifesaving cardiac treatment and we are hopeful to be able to assist as many families as possible during this mission.

– Dr. Abrahman, one of the eight doctors in the hospital

Two siblings saved by Save a Child's Heart

In 2014, one-year-old Sultan came to Israel from Pemba, Zanzibar for a life-saving heart surgery with Save a Child's Heart. Nine years later, 10-year-old Sultan visited SACH again with his mother. His youngest baby sister, Sara, was diagnosed with the same heart condition as her brother. Soon, their mother will travel to Israel to save her child for the second time.


Tamima is a former SACH patient, who was first treated in Israel back in 2003. Over the years, she has stayed involved and connected with SACH, volunteering to help local children with congenital heart defects like herself. During our mission in Zanzibar, Dr. Alona Raucher Sternfeld and the team screened her and her baby to make sure her baby's heart is healthy.

I'm so happy today. I feel well and my baby is well. I want to thank the team of Save a Child’s Heart for saving my life and enabling me to be a mother. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. A good mother for my children. I was really worried. I didn’t know if I will be able to have children, and if they will have a healthy heart. And today I am so happy. And so grateful.

– Tamima

Then and now

In Zanzibar, we Checked in on Some of Our Former Patients


Said was first brought to Israel in 2020 for life-saving heart surgery. Today, he is 5 years old and feeling good. He goes to school, plays with friends, and is overall a very happy little boy.

Thank you Save a Child’s Heart for saving my baby. I had a very sick baby and now I have a healthy happy boy. I am so happy and grateful.

– Said's mother 


Abdallah first came for treatment with Save a Child's Heart in Israel in 2016. He is now 22 years old and graduated. He remembers and is grateful for the SACH team from his time in Israel.

I want to thank Save a Child’s Heart for saving my life. My dream is to become a teacher and I will be one thanks to this organization.

– Abdallah


Khamis Amour Basra first came to Israel when she was 11 years old in February 2002, as part of a group of 6 children and one nurse. Over two decades later, she is now 31 years old, not yet married, and wants 3 children. She remembers her first trip and volunteers with the Zanzibar Heart Foundation.


Malik was treated in Israel by the Save A Child's Heart team in October 2022. This mission to Zanzibar was the first time his mother got to meet the team, since Malik traveled to Israel back in the fall with his Aunt. Post-recovery, he feels good, goes to school, and plays with his friends. His mother is happy to see her son so happy and full of energy.


Arif recently returned home from his visit to Israel, but was eager to see the team again. He was wearing his Give Your Heart Out shirt, ready for Valentine's Day with Save A Child's Heart. Learn more about how you can get involved with our campaign.