26 October 2013

Tanzania: Country Gets First Heart Surgeon

TANZANIA now has its first pediatric heart surgeon, after Dr Godwin Godfrey returned home following five years of training in Israel. The Israel based humanitarian project Save a Child's Heart (SACH), organized Dr Godwin's training in a landmark achievement that also saw it train a complete surgical team from a foreign state for the first time.

Since its establishment in 1995, SACH has trained doctors and nurses from all over the world and brought over 3,000 children to Israel from countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), for life saving surgery at Holon's Wolfson Medical Centre.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Randy Weiss from Save A Child's Heart said: "Although SACH has previously trained doctors and surgeons from countries such as China, Ethiopia, Romania, Iraq and Nepal and also the PA, this is the first time the project has trained an entire cardiology team, including an anesthetist and cardiology nurses, meaning they can perform lifesaving operations unassisted for the first time."

An Israeli team from Holon accompanied the Tanzanian team for a ten day trip to the city of Mwanza in the South East African state, in which they will perform operations together, giving the local team back-up until they gain full confidence to operate alone.

"It's an incredible accomplishment both for the Tanzanian doctors who are returning and for the Israeli team," Weiss said. She added the Tanzanian team had created "very close ties" with the Israeli medical teams they had worked with, and said that Dr Godwin had learnt to speak Hebrew fluently while he completed his surgical training in Holon.

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