Egyptian cardiothoracic surgeon Magdi Yacoub announced Monday that he will provide free operations for children with congenital heart defects from countries including Syria, Iraq, and Yemen in the Omani capital of Muscat, state news agency MENA reported.
After discussions with Omani health minister Ahmed El-Saidi, Yacoub said Oman will be the center in the Gulf for free heart surgeries, where children from neighbouring countries could come for operations.
Yacoub aims to carry out at least 12 operations per year in Oman, saying the rate is “open to increase by much.”
About 15 million children worldwide die or remain ill from treatable heart diseases every year.
The medical treatment in Oman will be supervised by Chain of Hope, a charity for the treatment of children with potentially curable heart diseases from developing countries, which Yacoub founded in 1995 and presides over.
Chain of Hope works with local medical care organisations in 30 countries around the world, including Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine.
Magdi Yacoub is a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.