Iraqi Children Receive Heart Operation in India

( [email protected] ) Mar 04, 2004 05:36 AM EST

WASHINGTON: For the last few days, there was a moment where love was overflowing among three countries holding different religions.

According to The Times of India, Israeli NGO funded by an American Christian organization helped bringing 20 Iraqi children to an Indian hospital for heart operation

The Iraqi children outreach was organized by the Israel-based group Shevet Achim, which in Hebrew means Brothers Together in concern of hundreds of children who are in desperate heart condition after the US invaded the land.

18 children between age one and five arrived in Chennai last week with their mothers and received operation starting Monday. Total six children have been operated so far.

The outreach was promoted by sending e-mails to hundreds of paediatric cardiologists across the world three months ago asking for their help. Among the doctors and the health groups that responded, Chennai¡¯s International Center for Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Diseases provided a special offer. They wished to take in 20 children and provide free surgery.

"We hadn¡¯t even opened," Dr K M Cherian, who heads the Chennai Centre. But we decided that instead of spending money on a formal inauguration, we¡¯d use it to treat the Iraqi kids."

Dr. Cherian is expecting to finish the operation in another week by healing two children a day.

"It¡¯s one of the most fulfilling projects in my career," Dr Cherian said, referring to the multi-religious, multi-cultural nature of the project. "My one regret is two of the children died in Iraq while all the formalities were being completed."

"This is a huge step forward in trans-national help," he added, pointing out how it provided valuable lessons and inspiration to doctors in Iraq.