Cooperation in the health sector continues – Palestinian and Israeli children with congenital heart defects celebrate together at a party held in their honor at the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital.
Date: 05.12.13 Author: Ariella Lemberg
Last Thursday (28.11.13) a party was held for Israeli and Palestinian children who underwent cardiac surgery and catheterization at the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital. The party was held at the hospital and was organized by the “Heart for Peace” Foundation in coordination with the Civil Administration. Children and their families attended the day with the medical team that accompanied them along the way, representatives of the “Heart for Peace” Foundation, and Staff Health Officer of the Civil Administration, Ms. Dalia Bassa.
The children enjoyed a variety of activities and prizes such as face painting, puppet balloons made for them by the entertaining clown, a variety of creative activities and group games. After they enjoyed playing with each other, a lunch meal was held for all children and their families and medical staff. The day was designed to bring together Israeli and Palestinian families who were in constant touch during the children’s treatment, and continue the regular monitoring of their children even when their health is excellent.
Later in the day, a meeting was held between Dalia Bassa and Ali Abohdr – a Palestinian Dalia knows through their joint work with the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Today, Ali is a grandfather to many grandchildren, one of whom was born with a heart defect and underwent three heart surgeries at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. “In my work at the Ministry of Health, I worked with Dalia many times to save lives,” said Ali, “I am happy that when my grandson was in need of medical care, Dalia did everything to save his life and provide the best medical care.”
The “Heart for Peace” Foundation is a French non-profit organization that helps Palestinian children with congenital heart defects get the surgery that would otherwise be unavailable to them in the Palestinian Territories. The organization finances surgeries at the hospital and works in coordination with the Health Office in the Civil Administration. Thanks to their work, more than 530 Palestinian children underwent life saving heart surgery in recent years. At least once a week a Palestinian child receives heart surgery at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
“When it comes to medicine there is no room for religious differences, we want to allow all those who are in need to get the best medical care as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Muriel Haim, the organizations manager. “We work in complete coordination with the Staff Health Officer and as a result of this cooperation I am happy to say that we have never encountered any problems and saved countless lives.”
“We at the Civil Administration coordinate the transfer of Palestinian patients for treatment in Israeli hospitals, so it is important for us to accompany the children’s families and support them all the way. This garners continued cooperation between all parties and preserves the ability to respond to any problem if it arises,” concluded Dalia. “We do everything to strengthen all necessary cooperation to save lives. Medicine is a bridge to peace and crosses any border.”