Dubai: The Nabadat initiative, which provides free surgeries for children with congenital heart disease, will now be expanding its services to different countries across the globe.
Nabadat, which means heartbeats, is an initiative that was launched by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment in 2007, to provides free medical assistance, surgery and post-surgical care to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for the treatment of congenital heart diseases.
More than 300 children — from newborns to 19-year-olds — with congenital heart diseases have been treated since its launch in 2007.
This development was announced at the Arab Health Congress which was held place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The DHA sponsors the treatment for Emiratis and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment sponsors treatment for expatriate patients.
Taking this initiative forward, is a team of surgeons and specialists from the DHA who are planning to travel to countries such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to treat children with congenital diseases.
Dr Obaid Al Jasem, head of cardiothoracic surgery at Dubai Hospital said: “We are presently in talks with hospitals in these countries to ensure there is good infrastructure and a team of qualified doctors who can assist patients with follow-up care.”
He said by April they will have more information and their travel plans will be clearer. “The aim of the project is to reach out to as many children in need of these surgeries as possible and help provide them with a new lease of life. We have seen the growth of the Nadabat project and therefore this is a logical extension of this initiative.”
Along with the surgeries, the team will also carry out a screening programme. “Early detection is crucial for treating any disease especially chronic conditions such as congenital heart problems… we will carry out screening programmes in government schools in these countries to test children for cardiomyopathy,” Al Jasem added.
A one-week workshop is currently taking place at the hospital with cardiologists from DHA and a team of surgeons from Italy, who are conducting surgeries and catheterisation procedures for children with congenital heart defects.
The DHA team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who performed these surgeries, include, Dr Obaid Al Jasem, Dr Ahmad Al Kamali, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Dubai Hospital, Dr Shahraban Abdullah Al Shari, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Latifa Hospital and Dr Sameer Sajwai, paediatric cardiac specialist at Dubai Hospital.
For information on the next workshop for free heart surgeries contact Dubai Hospital on 2195000.