THE PROGRAMME HAS 5 KEY OBJECTIVES
1/ Informing Palestinian families in order to reduce the risk of congenital cardiopathology.
2/ Screenings two days a week in the West Bank to diagnose children suffering from heart malformations.
3/ Surgical treatment: the children are treated for free by mixed teams of Israeli and Palestinian doctors working together in Hadassah hospital.
4/ The setting up of a night shift system in the West Bank which functions at all hours of the night. As of a year ago, Doctors Al Laham and Abu Zahira travel at night responding to emergency calls from the neonatology departments in the West Bank. The children can now be hospitalized at Hadassah hospital during the night.
5/ The transfer of knowlege and creation of networks. A HEART FOR PEACE trains Palestinian doctors in echocardiography and catheterization. This training, which lasts for a minimum of one year, takes place at Hadassah hospital.
The annual cost of training a doctor is €13 200, a technician costs €6 600.
Fifty drops of Peace
Article JIMDecember 2015
Fifty drops of Peace JIM Article
Fifty drops of peace between Israel and Palestine thanks to heart surgery. Jerusalem, Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 - When they created the organization Hadassah, the seven New York Jewish women pioneers, who were working together with its figurehead, Henrietta Szold, to help the Jewish organizations in Palestine, did not know that they had just given birth to a fabulous tool of hope and peace. Yet, the humanitarian mission took shape very quickly as did its aim to help all the populations present in the region, regardless of their religion. Thus, only a few years after its creation, makeshift ambulances, financed by the organization, visited Palestinian women in order to bring them pasteurised milk. Today, Hadassah's name floats in glory on the hills of Jerusalem thanks to two hospitals, whose mission it will always be to welcome and care for all sick people.
In spite of the wars, the closing of borders, the terrorist attacks and military responses, the Israeli and Palestinian surgeons specialized in pediatric cardiology, who work in the Hadassah hospitals, have always been committed to pursuing their mission. However, in the midst of the darkest years, it was particularly difficult for them to continue to welcome Palestinian children suffering from serious heart malformations. This is why, between 1993 and 2003, only a few Palestinian children needing an emergency operation were able to be operated on, while hundreds of others did not have access to heart surgery. The poverty of the Palestinian health services makes it, in fact, impossible for them to meet the needs of these children and priority is given to spending money on the creation of clinics. The humanitarian organizations, on the other hand, when they send in international medical teams, can only take care of the simplest surgical cases. The situation is all the more distressing since, within the population living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, there is a higher rate of congenital heart disease than in Israel or in Western countries, affecting almost 5% of the births. The explanation for this is that there are many marriages between cousins, representing 45% of the overall number of marriages, as Professor Jean-Jacques Rein, Head of the Pediatric Cardiology Department at Hadassah hospital explained yesterday during a press conference in Paris. Since 2003, thanks to the initiative of the Peres Center for Peace, Hadassah hospital has been able to give a growing number of children access to its state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of its practitioners. Thus, between 2003 and 2005, about 150 young Palestinians have been able to undergo operations. Nevertheless, because of the cost of these operations (approximately 12 000 euros), new structures are necessary. This is how, a few months ago, the organization "A Heart for Peace" came into being, its aim being to save an extra fifty children every year. Fifty operations have already been financed. Several companies are among the main donators. The aim, as we are told by the president and founder of the organization, Muriel Haïm, is to collect some 350 million dollars per year.
The strength of this initiative is linked to the fact that it is carried out far from the usual workings of humanitarian organizations. Its message of peace remains just as important and Professor Rein feels that the first fifty patients to be operated on are like "drops of peace" spread onto the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. The team of doctors is itself a testimony to this yearning for peace and brotherhood, since it is made up of five Israeli and three Palestinian doctors. However, in the future, one can hope that the Palestinian populations will find the care adapted to their children's needs on their own territory. But, at the moment, Israel is, in this domain, an apparently more reliable ally than other neighbouring countries.
© Copyright 2005 http://www.jim.fr
Copyright © http://www.jim.fr
IN THE FIELD...
A Palestinian doctor in a hospital in either Gaza or the West Bank calls Professor Rein, Head of the Pediatric Cardiology Department of Hadassah Hospital.
After a discussion between the two doctors, and if they decide that the child needs to be operated on, the Palestinian doctors sends a fax to Hadassah hospital with information about the child.
Professor Rein sends a fax to the Palestinian authorities in order to obtain permission for the child to leave Gaza or the West Bank. He sends the same document to the Israeli authorities in order to obtain an entry permit for both the child and a member of its family, generally its mother or grandmother.
NGOs such as " Physicians for Human Rights" and "the Peres Center for Peace" help us to organise the transportation via ambulance on the Palestinian side, which is to say up until the border.
There, a Magen David Adom ( Israeli Red Cross) ambulance takes responsibility for the child and drives it to Hadassah hospital.
In the case of an emergency, the child arrives within two and a half hours.
Once the operation is completed, we arrange for the child's return by ambulance to either Gaza or the West Bank.
No child has ever been prevented from coming for treatment.
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE GROUPS
As with every year, A HEART FOR PEACE organized a day for Palestinian and Israeli children to meet up.
What do they have in common?
They have all undergone operations.
Their brothers, their sisters, their mothers came with them to enjoy the day and have fun together.
These gatherings are aimed at keeping up the relationships, which began when the children were hospitalized, and also at continuing to develop a climate of confidence between the two peoples.
HELPING… in RAMALLAH, in HEBRON
THE PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGY CENTRE IN RAMALLAH, entirely managed by a Palestinian crew, trained by A HEART FOR PEACE, takes care of children suffering from heart pathologies in the northern part of the West Bank .
It was opened on October 21st, 2012, in the presence of the Governor of Ramallah and a Palestinian television crew.
1500 children have already been medically treated there. More than 70 of them were sent to Hadassah hospital for treatment.
A cardiologist for adults rounds off the team which is dedicated to children.
This clinic became financially independent in May 2015. It is a successful beginning which confirms that both the transfer of skills and empowerment have worked.
A SECOND CLINIC IN HEBRON
On March 1st, 2015, Doctor Abu Zahira opened his clinic making it the second state-of-the-art Palestinian pediatric cardiology clinic. A HEART FOR PEACE will be paying the rent for 3 years and has provided a cardio-scanner.
A framework agreement for a partnership between Hadassah and Necker-Enfants-Malades hospitals has been signed.
It focuses on research, the private hospital, training and an exchange of management skills.
Cooperation exists with the Bethlehem Hospital, the Red Crescent Hospital, Saint Joseph's Hospital in Jerusalem, the health centres run by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations in the West Bank.
HADASSAH HOSPITAL IN JERUSALEM
PARTENARIAT Marie LANNELONGUE
A partnership has been signed with the Marie Lannelongue hospital, which specializes in pediatric and adult cardiac surgery.
A first meeting was held on January 18th in order for the teams to get to know each other and to talk about possible cooperation such as exchanging doctors.
We will keep you informed of the next steps.