With a footprint spanning over 60 countries across the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the America’s, SACH has treated more than 5,000 children for congenital and rheumatic heart diseases.
Founded by Dr Ami Cohen in 1995 at the Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon, Israel, SACH aims to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for all children; creating local centres of competence in developing countries. Working with JKCI, the Israeli non-profit organisation is reaching new frontiers in the treatment and care of children across the country.
The organisation has deployed two main modes of operation to support the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of children who are admitted to the JKCI. After diagnosis at the Institute, selected children and their caregivers are flown to the Wolfson Medical Centre in Israel for final diagnosis and subsequent surgery.
In these cases, the Medical Centre’s Legacy Heritage Children’s Home, a fifteen-minute drive from the Centre, provides both counsel and accommodation to the children, escort nurse and their caregivers during this time. To date, 65 cardiac paediatric patients have benefited from this programme.
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is the leading cause of acquired heart disease and is an ongoing concern in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting especially the younger population. Proper treatment is essential to improve the outcomes for these children, as both conditions contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality during infanthood and childhood. However, treatment for conditions like CHD and RHD can be prohibitively expensive for families without governmental or humanitarian organisations being involved.
Microsoft Israel has been working closely with the entire healthcare industry to provide new cloud-based solutions to meet the hospitals and HMO’s specific needs, with activities including everything from collaboration to Data, Machine Learning and AI solutions.
The solutions provide better collaboration, facilitate remote work, making information accessible for healthcare workers, patients and citizens, and innovating the entire healthcare system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a focus on providing remote work as well as remote patient care for healthcare facilities.
“Once implemented, this innovative approach will allow us to help deliver more precise diagnoses, and will help to limit the number of children needing to fly to Israel for treatment. On the socialside, there are also the added benefits for the children at JKCI, who will be able to enjoy the comforts of familiar surroundings and family networks in their home-country,” said Dr LiorSasson from the Wolfson Medical Centre.
JKCI’s CEO, Professor Mohamed Janabi has applauded the partnership with SACH saying it leverages use of technology in treating patients easily from anywhere. “Our surgeons are in constant contact with our Israeli counterparts for consulting, coaching and mentorship. We are excited that this partnership with SACH and Microsoft will allow more precise diagnosis using remote, real-time digital collaboration tools that will immensely benefit the children in our care,” said Prof Janabi. He added, “We are stepping boldly into medical collaboration in the digital era, and we look forward to being at the leading edge of this innovation.”
Microsoft for Africa Business Development Lead, Gustavo Raiter also cherished the partnership with SACH and JKCI. “As Microsoft, we are encouraged by the collaboration and drive shown by the Wolfson Medical Centre and the Jakaya Kikwete Medical Institute in the area of paediatric cardiac treatment,” Raiter said.
Raiter noted that the US software giant is glad to be part of the digital transformation journey and is confident that such efforts will serve as a template for similar partnerships in other countries, paving the way for innovation that drives collective action.
For treatment in Tanzania, SACH also sends surgeons, nurses, surgeons, anesthesia, doctors and perfusionists to the JKCI for a months-long deployment to fast-track the surgical treatments for children most in need. SACH also provides scholarships for nurses, surgeons, anesthesia, doctors and perfusionists from JKCI who are going to Israel for further study.