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Surgeons fly in to Syria to save lives of Palestine refugees

Damascus - A team of 13 heart surgeons from the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society (UAERCS) arrives in Damascus on 22 March, to perform open-heart surgery on 24 Palestine refugees, including 20 children. Ranging in age from two to ten, all of the children have congenital heart disease and are currently hospitalized at Al-Basel Hospital for open heart surgery in Dummar. The medical team will also perform cardiac catherization and balloon dilation procedures for 15 and heart bypass operations for 8.

In co-operation with the UAERCS and UNRWA, these top doctors and professors from Canada, Egypt, France, Ireland, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom and Yemen will perform operations on Palestine refugee and Syrian patients between 23-31 March. The operations will be performed free of charge thanks to the generous contribution of the UAERCS and support from UNRWA. Additionally, 20 UNRWA medical officers will receive advanced training in emergency cardiac procedures.

Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, thanked the UAERCS for its continued support to UNRWA: "We are immensely grateful for the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent's generous help to Palestine refugees. These surgeons are literally saving lives. The support of the people of the UAE is positively heart-warming."

The UAERCS, the UAE's national humanitarian and voluntary authority, provides aid and assistance to individuals in need, regardless of nationality, race, gender, religion, politics, or personal beliefs. The UAERCS has also donated funds to UNRWA for the rehabilitation of Jenin camp in the West Bank, which was largely destroyed in 2002 by an Israeli military operation, and for numerous re-housing projects in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA is a humanitarian and human development agency providing education, health care, social services, micro-credit and emergency relief to over 4 million registered refugees living in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over 440,000 refugees.

For further information please contact:

Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 093-416591