Hadassah-hebrew U. Pact with Unrwa Results in 10 Arab Open-heart Operations

A year-old agreement between the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center and the United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) to treat Arab refugees with heart ailments has resulted in successful open-heart surgery on 10 patients without charge. About half the patients were children, and two 25-year-old women, each with five children, have been returned to normal life with the replacement and repair of defective heart valves. Such surgery normally costs about $3,000, Hadassah says.

West Bank Arabs with heart ailments are first examined at the Lutherans’ Auguste Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem under UNRWA auspices. Hadassah cardiac surgeons and cardiologists periodically consult colleagues at Auguste Victoria and examine patients there. Some are referred to the Hadassah medical center for further tests and surgery is performed if warranted. Jordan was unable to provide such treatment before the Six-Day War due to lack of equipment and trained personnel. Many patients suffer from severe cardiac failure caused, in many cases, by rheumatic fever in childhood.

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