‘Save a Child’s Heart’ doctors honored at UN event

Doctors and medics try to resuscitate 14-year-old Palestinian boy Yasser Abu Al-Naja, who died later after he was shot by Israeli forces during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, at a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 June 2018
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‘Save a Child’s Heart’ doctors honored at UN event

  • The nonprofit, funded mostly by private donors with some contributions from governments, has performed surgery on nearly 5,000 children since it was started about two decades ago
  • At the moment, 44 children are being treated free-of-charge at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon

NEW YORK: A group of Israeli doctors have bypassed the region’s politics to save thousands of Palestinian children and those from 57 other countries by operating on their diseased hearts.
Earlier this week, the doctors with Save a Child’s Heart, an organization based in Holon just south of Tel Aviv, were honored at the UN, where Israeli positions have often clashed with those held by Arab member nations. But group co-founder Dr. Sion Houri said that when it comes to children’s lives, “our activity is international, non-political and non-religious.”
He and two fellow physicians, Lior Sasson and Akiva Tamir, accepted the UN Population Award Tuesday for saving young lives — especially in war-torn and developing lands.
The nonprofit, funded mostly by private donors with some contributions from governments, has performed surgery on nearly 5,000 children since it was started about two decades ago, including more than 2,000 from the West Bank and Gaza and 300 from Iraq and Syria. The rest came from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and throughout the Middle East.
At the moment, 44 children are being treated free-of-charge at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
The first patients in the 1990s were from Ethiopia, including a 15-year-old boy who lived in the streets with a life-threatening cardiac ailment. After recovering, he returned home and eventually opened a school for homeless street kids. Among them was a boy whom the school founder recently brought to Israel for his heart surgery.
“Many people might think that I’m naive, but we think treating a child with heart disease is like planting a seed of peace,” said Sasson, the organization’s lead surgeon.
Even though these children have heart conditions that are correctable, “the majority of them will die before the age of 20 as a result of the lack of facilities and doctors,” the surgeon said.
Save a Child’s Heart physicians are now training new teams of medical professionals to work in the West Bank, Ethiopia, Kenya, China, Romania, Moldova, Kenya and Tanzania.


Expat sacked and deported from UAE for praising NZ attacks

Updated 7 sec ago
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Expat sacked and deported from UAE for praising NZ attacks

  • The unnamed man made inflammatory comments supporting the shootings on his Facebook account
  • The man has since been fired and deported back to his country

DUBAI: An employee at a Dubai-based security company was fired and deported for celebrating the deadly New Zealand mosque attacks under a fake identity on Facebook, the group said Wednesday.
“Over the weekend, a Transguard employee made inflammatory comments on his personal Facebook account celebrating the deplorable mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the Transguard security group said in a statement.
“Despite posting under a false name, the employee responsible for last weekend’s inflammatory (Facebook) comments has been identified, terminated as per Transguard policy and handed over to the authorities.”
Transguard, which is affiliated with the Emirates Group that includes Emirates Airline, said the man had been deported by the UAE government.
It did not name him or reveal his nationality.
An Australian white supremacist shot dead 50 Muslims praying at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.
The attacks sparked global revulsion and drew condemnation from the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement following the attacks, the foreign ministry said the UAE stood in “full solidarity with the friendly state of New Zealand to confront extremism and terrorism and... safeguard the security and the safety of its citizens and all residents.”