Heart-to-heart campaign launched in Sharjah

Sharjah: The Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign was launched yesterday at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.

The Zayed Giving Initiative, the Saudi German Hospital and Dar Al Ber Charity Society have teamed up to launch the one-year heart care campaign to coincide with the UAE’s 43rd National Day to provide free life-saving cardiac surgery to children with special needs at the City.

An Emirati medical team of volunteer heart and eye surgeons and specialists headed by Dr Reem Othman, Executive Director of Saudi German Hospital and humanitarian ambassador, has screened tens of children using advanced techniques and devices for cardiac diagnostics, including echocardiograms.

Many of the patients are suffering from conditions such as coronary artery disease and other congenital heart conditions, and they require surgical intervention to save their lives.

Dr. Othman said the campaign would make a qualitative leap for community health services through a range of preventive, educational, and therapeutic services which ease the suffering of poverty-stricken cardiac patients within the UAE and beyond.

She announced that the International Heart-to-Heart Campaign would be launched in Africa as of mid-January 2015, allowing UAE medical professionals to engage in medical humanitarian initiatives abroad, thus further enhancing the UAE’s role in international humanitarian works and spurring the private sector to adopt similar initiatives.

Dr. Othman thanked Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimia, Director General of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, for her support of the medical mission.

Dr Adel Al Shamry, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon and CEO of the Zayed Giving Initiative, who is heading the team of volunteer surgeons, said the campaign will target 2,000 children with special needs.

So far, he added, the Zayed Giving Initiative has treated more than 3 million children and elderly people and conducted over 7,000 open-heart surgeries for children and adults.

Abdullah bin Zayed Al Falasi, Executive Director of Dar Al Ber Charity Society, hailed the campaign as a significant contribution to humanitarian work, saying it had introduced a paradigm shift in the multi-institutional field.

He noted that the campaign would last for one year and would reach out to one million children and elderly people locally and abroad.

“We will help their ailing heart to beat healthily again,” he added.