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Kinderherzen team saves little heroes during two-week mission in Eritrea

Nov. 04, 2019

When paediatric heart surgeon Andreas Urban first visited Eritrea in 1997, he found a country with only 5 paediatricians available to treat the country’s 2.6 million children – and without a single paediatric heart surgeon, Eritrea’s children with heart disease had no access to life-saving treatment.

Since he became a board member of Kinderherzen, Dr Urban has flown twice per year to Eritrea with a qualified team of paediatric cardiologists, surgical assistants, intensive paediatric nurses, technicians and medical specialists. In Asmara, the capital, the Kinderherzen team operates on children with congenital heart disease.

Over time, Dr Urban and his team improved the conditions in the Asmara clinic and helped to build a modern intensive care unit in the IOCCA (International Operation Centre for Children of Asmara/Eritrea). In addition, the volunteer team is also supported by experienced teams from Switzerland and Italy.

During a two-week mission in November, the Kinderherzen medical team saved 26 children in Eritrea. The 38-member medical team, led by Dr Urban, performed the procedures in the modern intensive care unit. 

For the Kinderherzen team, seeing the joy in the eyes of parents when their children wake up from the anaesthesia after a successful surgery is unforgettable.

Abbott supported the mission by providing the devices needed to treat the children.

Dr. Urban with his team of volunteers.

This little girl was happy to be recovered quickly after her procedure.

Little Shalom, 13 months old and in a good mood after her procedure.

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