Fourteen Tanzanian children underwent successful heart catheterizations during the first Israeli-German Wolfson Medical Center/Deutsches Herzzentrum joint medical mission to Dar es Salaam this month.

The five-day medical mission – supported by Save a Child’s Heart Canada and Ein Herz für Kinder – included a German team from the Deutsches Herzzentrum in Berlin under the leadership of Prof. Felix Berger and an Israeli team from the Wolfson Medical Center, led by Dr. Akiva Tamir, head of the pediatric cardiology unit, and Dr. Sagi Assa.

The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute hosted the Israeli and German doctors and nurses. Photo courtesy of SACH
The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute hosted the Israeli and German doctors and nurses. Photo courtesy of SACH

The Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute hosted the Israeli and German doctors and nurses. Dr. Godwin Godfrey, Tanzania’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon trained by Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) in Israel and Dr. Naiz Majani, pediatric cardiologist also trained by SACH in Israel led the Tanzanian team.

Cardiac catheterization, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic, is an invasive imaging procedure that allows doctors to evaluate heart function.

Giving life at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute. Photo courtesy of SACH
Giving life at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute. Photo courtesy of SACH

In addition to the lifesaving procedures, the Israeli and German doctors held an open clinic for heart disease patients. Among the children waiting in line to be screened was Dismas, aged six, who was brought to Israel two years ago by SACH to undergo lifesaving heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center. His mother reported that since returning from Israel, he has started to attend school and loves to run and play.

SACH medical teams often do checkups or follow-up procedures on patients they treated months or years previously.

SACH reported that the mission was “a successful one… paving the way for future cooperation between Save a Child’s Heart and the Deutsches Herzzentrum.”

Save a Child’s Heart/Deutsches Herzzentrum joint medical mission to Dar es Salaam. Photo by Debra Silver/SACH
Save a Child’s Heart/Deutsches Herzzentrum joint medical mission to Dar es Salaam. Photo by Debra Silver/SACH