The Nabdhat Medical Team: For safety of Small Hearts in Sudan

By: Mohammed Osman

Khartoum, July 12 (Sudanow) - It wasn’t the first sight of its kind… I have been familiar with scenes of patients being pushed in wheelchairs in hospital corridors … others lying on the examination benches breathing heavily, but the sight of children incapable of playing with peers due to their ailing weak hearts is something that is really saddening. There are hundreds of children who are in need of someone who can breath life into their feeble hearts and restore happiness to their families.

The initiative of the Nabdhat (pulses) campaign for curing children’s hearts was launched by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Operations in cooperation with the Dubai Health Board as the first operation outside the United Arab Emirates to get God’s retribution in coordination with the Sudanese Sanad Charity Foundation to give hope for rejuvenation of the small hearts.

This reporter happened to be in the Heart Surgery Center in Wad Medani where she witnessed tears of joy of families for the success of the operations conducted for their children.

In this reportage, we cast light on the heart disease of children and on the operations conducted for more than 50 children who could not afford the cost of the operation. All these operations were made by the Nabdhat Medical Team for Curing Children’s Hearts. The team is composed of medical personnel from the UAE, other Arab countries and others nationalities specialized in child heart diseases. Sudanese medical personnel from Wad Medani Heart Surgery Center also took part in the operations


Rare, Emergency Case:

Dr. Al-Wasiq Abdul Rahman, Director of the Medical Affairs of Sanad Charity Foundation, revealed that there was a complicated case of a seven month old baby infant whose heart ceased operating. She was placed in the intensive care and had an operation conducted on her. The case was a collection of complex medical problems. Yet the operation was remarkably successful, said Dr. Abdul Rahman, adding it was an emergency case and was not included in the targeted cases.

Nafisah Mohamed (7) is a girl with an ailing heart who was hopeful that she would be cured. Her mother said Nafisah felt exhaustion from playing with her peers and it turned out that she was suffering an inborn defect causing several problems. The family was financially incapable of having her treated but this campaign offered her hope and conducted on her a successful operation.

The mother of Nafisah Mohamed who underwent an operation expressed satisfaction with care accorded to her child who she said had undergone ventricular and arterial operations.

Asked about the conditions of their children after undergoing the operations, the mothers and fathers thanked God for the successful operations and expressed gratitude to the UAE for assisting the children and to highly benevolent His Highness Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the medical and administrative team and also Sanad Charity Foundation and Wad Medani Heart Center which sponsored the humanitarian project.

Touring the Center, we noticed that there are tens of children suffering heart diseases and placed on the waiting list for undergoing surgical operations to close holes or widen the heart valve and the longer they waited the more dangerous their cases would become. At last relief has shown up, according to the waiting parents.

Successful Campaign:-

Imad Hassan Sufyan, Information and Public Relations Officer Al-Maktoum Charity Foundation, said the efforts exerted by Sanad Foundation and Wad Medani Heart Center left a good impression with the administrative and medical team for the first mission outside the UAE, persuading a return to the Sudan. He said the campaign was part of an initiative by Nabdhat for treating small hearts outside the UAE in collaboration with Sanad Foundation for curing more than 50 children suffering from heart inborn defects. The Sudan was one of the targeted countries set to be covered by the international campaign on instructions by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Sufyan said.

The Information and Public Relations officer said the medical team consists of 14 medical personnel headed by Dr. Obaid Mohamed Al-Jassim, the Heart and Chest Surgery Consultant of Dubai Health Board and Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Jamjoum, the Heart and Chest Cavity Surgery Consultant and Director of the Heart Surgery Section of King Faisal Specialized Hospital in Jeddah. The team includes two surgeons, two intensive care units, a medicinal speculum specialist, a child anesthetization consultant, two assistant surgeons and an artificial heart specialist in addition to medical personnel of Wad Medani Heart Center.

Sufyan said the cost of the operation ranges between 10,000 to 25,000 US dollars. He added that the campaign targeted 50 operations for children between two months and 12 years of age, consisting of 30 surgical speculum operations and 20 open heart operations and were conducted last June 8-13.

The Initiative undertook all financial and logistic costs of the medical team and all expenses in addition providing the surgical instruments and equipment, the speculum materials, all surgical equipment and requirements. The Information and Public Relations officer said equipment and appliances were available for more than 50 operations, if not for the insufficient capacity of the intensive care rooms of the Center.

Nabdhat Initiative kicked off in 2007 for which 13 international medical teams were brought, Sufyan said, adding that Nabdhat has carried out more than 300 heart operations for children within UAE and abroad.


100 % Successful Operations:-

The Director-General of Wad Medani Heart Center, Dr. Abdulla al-Amin al-Sheikh, said the Initiative was in the framework of a strategic partnership with the Center. He said it was the first campaign by Maktoum Foundation. He pointed out that the delegation of doctors consisted of a team of the most distinguished and skilful surgeons and the operations were successful by 100%.

Dr. Sheikh added that the campaign targeted children from two months to 12 years and the operations were free of charge. The preparations in the Center began well before the onset of the campaign as the necessary procedures and tests for 50 children with urgent conditions in various states of the Sudan in addition to two cases from Somalia were taken, the Center Director-General said.

Complicated Cases:

The Heart and Chest Cavity Surgical Consultant and Head of the Heart Surgery Section of King Faisal Specialized Hospital in Jeddah, Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Jamjoum, said the team conducted open heart surgical operations for closing complicated holes in the heart and treatment of four-dimensional cases in addition to putting right irregular lung veins and speculum operations for treatment of the inborn defects of the heart. He said that operations on all cases were successful.

Jamjoum commended Wad Medani Center and its preparedness in all these aspects. He noted that these cases, in case they are not treated at an early age, whether with the speculum or early surgery intervention, the children will be left with a chronic suffering, spurring body or brain growth retardation due to oxygen shortage in the blood and a high blood pressure in the lung. He said the outcome will be difficult to treat the disease when the child grows up with it.

The Heart and Chest Surgery consultant of the Health Board in Dubai and head of the Nabdhat medical team, Dr. Obaid Mohamed Al-Jassim, said the Initiative was launched in Dubai as a charity bid for curing children with heart problems, around the world from inborn deformities.

“We plan to treat as many children as possible in different parts of the world. We count on Nabdhat for accomplishment of this humanitarian goal,” Dr. Jassim said.

He commended Wad Medani Heart Center for cooperation in facilitating the mission of the medical team which he said, in partnership with the Sudanese medical team, conducted speculum and open heart operations for 50 children of ages ranging between two months and 12 years who suffered from inborn deformities.

For her part, Sanad Foundation Director-General, Samia Mohamed Osman, said her Foundation used to bring in medical teams for carrying out free-of-charge operations for treatment of children suffering inborn heart deformities for families who cannot bear such expensive operations. This campaign followed free-of-charge 140 heart operations conducted last year. Those operations were successful by 100%, Osman said, adding that the children of poor families waiting for the operations reached 600 in number.

At the end of its mission Nabdhat team met Vice President of the Republic, Dr. al-Hajj Adam Yusuf, who expressed gratitude and appreciation to the UAE for their initiatives which were highly beneficial to the Sudanese people.

He said the surgical operations carried out by Nabdhat medical team stand as good evidence that the philanthropic and humanitarian action in the UAE possesses modern humanitarian vision and programmes with a capacity of feeling out the real requirements of the needy people.

Dr. Yusuf wished that other philanthropic organizations would follow suit.

In a party held in honor of Al-Maktoum Foundation team, Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid stated that Al-Maktoum Foundation was the first foundation that came up for the relief of the people of Darfur when the organizations turned up to assist them. He lauded the visiting medical team, saying: “We are happy to have among us people who have rejuvenated life to 50 children and restored happiness to their families.”

Khalid Ahmed al-Sheikh Mubarak, Deputy Director-General of Dubai Health Board, gave a briefing of the efforts being exerted by the Health Board in cooperation with Al-Maktoum Philanthropic Foundation for curing deformities of the children’s hearts. Since the launching of Nabdhat Initiative in 2007, the Board and the Foundation managed to carry out 300 open heart and speculum operations for patients within UAE and abroad, Mubarak said. He said Dubai Health Board’s hospitals possess advanced devices and capabilities in the form of medical equipment and distinguished medical personnel.

Investment Minister and Al-Zubair Charity Foundation Chairman Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail and Health Minister Baher Abu Gardah welcomed Ibrahim Abu Mahah, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Dubai, who arrived here for participation in the conclusion of Nabdhat campaign.

President Omar al-Bashir threw a party at the Guest House in honor of Abu Malhah, who is also Deputy Board President of Al-Maktoum Foundation, Khalid Mubarak, Ahmed Hassan al-Shihy, UAE Ambassador to Khartoum and the medical and administrative team of Nabdhat Initiative. First Lady and Chairperson of Sanad Foundation Widad Babikir, Cabinet Minister Ahmed Saad Omar and First Vice President’s wife Fatimah al-Amin Abdulla were also present at the party that was held at the Guest House in honor of Nabdhat medical team that has conducted open heart and speculum operations sponsored by Al-Maktoum Philanthropic Foundation in coordination with Dubai Health Board.IMG_7261

Ibrahim Abu Malhah, Advisor to Dubai Ruler for Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al-Maktoum Foundation expressed gratitude to President Bashir and Sanad Foundation for the warm welcome and for the hospitality. He said Nabdhat Initiative comes in the context of cooperation between Al-Maktoum Foundation and the government departments in support of joint efforts for offering assistance in the various humanitarian aspects. The Sudan was selected as the first venue for the programme of conducting 50 operations, the Advisor said.



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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