Save a Child’s Heart Mission to Save in Zanzibar

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) sent an all women’s mission to Zanzibar in mid-February 2017 to screen and diagnose children in need of life-saving heart surgery. SACH will work with its medical partners at the Mnazi Mmoia Hospital in Zanzibar to conduct screenings and determine which children are in need of heart surgeries.

SACH sent Dr. Alona Sternfeld, a pediatric cardiologist, Yifat Brosh, a medical technician, Nava Gerson, the head nurse of the pediatric surgical department, Debbie Silver, a board member of SACH and photographer, and Tamar Shapira, the director of international and public relations. Karen Diamond and Mindy Herman from Save a Child’s Heart Foundation in Canada will join the women on the mission to Zanzibar.

Over the course of a few days, there were hundreds of children escorted by mothers who arrived at the Mnazi Mmoia Hospital to be screened. The Israeli-Canadian team and its partners in Zanzibar worked all day and night to diagnose each child that awaited a screening. The children that are in critical conditions will be sent to Israel over the next few months for life-saving surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center.


During the mission of screening Zanzibari children, one of the echo machines was having malfunctions, while a hundred children were patiently waiting to be screened. SACH partner Jakaye Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dar El Salaam under the leadership of Professor Mohammed Janabi came to the rescue by replacing the broken echo with one of its own. The doctors were able to continue working, without any time lost and without sending children away without being screened.


Throughout the mission, there were a total of 270 children in Zanzibar screened. Many of whom will be sent to Israel to undergo life-saving heart surgery to live healthy lives.