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Israeli Charity Organisation Offers Free Heart Surgeries for Nigerian Children

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A charity organisation in Israel, Save a Child’s Heart, says it is open to partnership with Nigeria to offer free medical surgery for Nigerian children suffering from various heart diseases.

Ms Tamar Shapira Deputy Director of SACH made this known to some Nigerian journalists in Tel Aviv during a visit to the SACH Home, Tel Aviv on a media Tour of Israel.

Shapira said that 169 Nigerian children have already had free heart surgeries from Save a Child’s Heart Foundation which have offered free life-saving heart treatment to over 66,000 children from 66 countries since its inception 26 years ago.

She said that the home works in partnership with Israel’s Wolfson Hospital where the children are operated, treated upon at the Ida Carbakoff, International Pediatric Center and later brought to the center for recovery.

“We are at the Save the Child’s Heart Children’s home, a home away from home for all the children that we the Save the Child’s heart bring from all around the world to Israel for life-saving procedure.

“Our activities focus on bringing children like all the children we met today to Israel to undergo their life-saving surgeries and catherization.

“We also bring medical team members from partners sites that we have around the world for training here in Israel. We train them in different fields I pediatric cardiac care, so that they can go back to their own countries to treat children independently.

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“Also a number of times during the year we send medical team on medical missions to work with our partners.

“Since the establishment of Save a Child’s Heart 26 years ago, we treated more than 6,000 children from 66 different countries.

“50 per cent of the Children we treat are Palestinian children, 45 per cent of the children are from different African countries and the from different part of the world. We treated a number of children from Nigeria throughout the years.

“At the moment we have twelve doctors from our training programme, from Zambia, Ethiopia, from Palestinian Authorities, we also have one from Nigeria now training in Anastasia,” Shapara said.

Responding to questions on “As I said before, if there are cases, we are more than happy if we can help these children.

“We are opened to helping children, working with new partners from around for the benefit of children with heart disease, from any country in Africa and around the world,” Shapara added.

Sixteen-year-old Nyamugisha Nyamuco from Burundi who had a successful heart surgery by Save a Child’s Heart told the newsmen that thanks to the Center, she has been given hope to live again.

“I have been here for two months and a half, I am Okay now, I have done surgery, now I am Okay. This people they make us hopeful, I want to thank them.

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“I started to get sick from Burundi, they know that I have a heart disease, they tell us that we must come here and they accept here in Israel and then we come,” Nyamuco said.

Dr Lawara Musa, Pediatric and Child Health Specialist from Zambia lauded the foundation for its life-saving assistance to children across the world and the success rate on that with the hi-tech procedures.

Musa said as part of Save a Child’s Heart Mission, doctors, like him, after completing training, would return to Africa to carryout cardiology treatment on children which would reduce the rate of sending children abroad.

“Here, we cater for all races, and it doesn’t matter about the Nationality. We have several children from Africa here.

“I have been here for two months we have had zero mortality, we have not recorded any death.

“The purpose of this training is to bridge the gap. Myself and my colleague will be the first team from our country to form a cardiac unit.

“So with the knowledge that we will gain from here, we will be able to write up what is actually required to facilitate such kind of intensive care, instead of just having a room and a bed but the actual equipment that we need.

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“So in essence, bringing what we have learnt from here, bringing them back home that way we will reduce the number of kids we bring from Africa, we can do some of the thigs from back home,” Musa said.

Save a Child’s Heart is an Israel-based International Humanitarian Foundation with a mission to improve quality pediatric cardiac care in developing countries and Israel. (NAN)

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UN Deputy Chief, Amina Mohammed Concludes 3-day Trip to Rome

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UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, on Friday concluded her 3-day trip to Rome where she met with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani.

UN Spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, told newsmen at the UN headquarters in New York that it was at the meeting with Tajani that she informed him about the Food Summit.

“In the meeting, it was announced that Italy would host the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, which will take place in Rome from July 24 to 26.

“The aim of the high-level meeting is to provide opportunities for countries to report on progress made at the national level since the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021, as well as their contributions to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda,’’ he said.

Dujarric said countries would review progress towards transforming food systems worldwide at a three-day meeting in Rome.

The so-called UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment is the first global follow-up to a 2021 summit convened to change how the world produces, consumes and thinks about food.

The high-level event falls at the halfway point for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development (SDGs), which provide a blueprint for a more fair, equitable and “green” world.

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“I am looking forward to Italy’s leadership in bringing together stakeholders to create the evidence that food systems transformation is a critical SDGs accelerator,’’ Mohammed quoted as saying.

Mohammed further stressing that “more sustainable, equitable, healthy and resilient food systems directly impact people’s lives and livelihoods as we strive for a better future for people and for the planet.”

During the Stocktaking Moment, countries will share stories of success and early signs of transformation, while maintaining the momentum needed to ensure resilient food systems.

It will take place from July 24 to July 26 at the headquarter of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the Italian capital.

Italy will host, in collaboration with FAO and two other UN agencies – the international Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – which are also based in Rome.

The UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, which supports governments in developing and implementing agrifood system transformation, and the wider UN system, are also organisers.

The three-day meeting will provide an opportunity for countries to report on progress made since the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021, held online, where more than 50,000 people, including 77 world leaders, committed to accelerate action on transformation.

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At the Stocktaking Moment, governments will also assess their contributions to achieving sustainable development despite a current global context that has substantially changed.

The UN reports that the number of people worldwide who cannot afford a healthy diet rose by an additional 112 million between 2019 to 2020, to almost 3.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of rising food prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Italy has welcomed its role as host and co-organiser, said Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“Italy, with the strategic involvement of its strong and innovative agrifood sector, is committed to play an increasingly active role in supporting the efforts of the international community to promote food security and transformative and innovative solutions for sustainable and efficient food systems throughout the world,” he said.

“As one of the oldest and most influential food cultures of the world, we intend to play our part in addressing one of the key challenges for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.”

The Stocktaking Moment will further highlight the central role of food systems transformations in overall SDG advancement ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in September.

The UN and Italy urged countries and stakeholders to “prepare and seize the opportunity” to reaffirm global commitment to act with urgency, in line with the promise of the SDGs. (NAN)

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Russia Preparing Massive Missile Attack on Ukraine – Spokesperson

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Russia is preparing a massive new missile attack on targets in Ukraine, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern military command said yesterday.

The spokesperson pointed to movements by the Russian Black Sea fleet.

Most of the fleet had returned to their bases, and this suggests a new missile strike, Natalya Humenyuk told Ukrainian television.

Since Russian forces launched a campaign of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure in October, most of the cruise missiles have been fired from naval vessels on the Black Sea.

The fire was from naval vessels on the Black Sea and Caspian Sea or from strategic bombers.

According to Humenyuk, only 10 Russian ships are still at sea.

“They show their muscle for a time at sea, demonstrate their presence and control over the situation and then sail to the bases, where they usually prepare for manoeuvres for a massive missile attack,’’ he Ukrainian military spokesperson has said.

Russian missile attacks have severely impaired Ukraine’s electrical power supply and other utilities.

Millions of people have been left without electricity, heating and water for extended periods during the long winter nights.

The attacks have repeatedly hit residential blocks.

In Dnipro, 45 people were killed and 80 injured on Jan. 14. (dpa/NAN)

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Pope Visit in DRC: WFP Highlights Africa’s Biggest Hunger Crisis

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UN World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday said that aid agencies faced growing demands and shrinking funds in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The UN agency made the disclosure in a statement as crowds in DRC thronged to hear Pope Francis’s message of hope and solidarity on his three-day official visit to Central Africa.

Millions of Congolese face severe food insecurity, particularly in the northeast, where fighting has uprooted millions of people, resulting in Africa’s biggest hunger crisis.

As part of his three-day visit to DRC, the pope is expected to meet families displaced by conflict in the east.

This staggering number includes more than half a million uprooted from their homes in recent months, the UN World Food Programme, WFP said.

To help them, the UN agency has appealed to the international community for more than $627 million to fund vital humanitarian assistance in 2023.

In a personal appeal, Pope Francis reportedly urged young Congolese to work for a better future and shun corruption.

His remarks in Italian were translated into French for those gathered at the 80,000-capacity Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa.

“You are part of a greater history, one that calls you to take an active role as a builder of communion, a champion of fraternity, an indomitable dreamer of a more united world,” the pontiff said.

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He also urged them never to succumb “to the persuasive but poisonous temptations of corruption.”

In 2022, WFP reached 5.4 million of the most vulnerable people in DRC with food and nutrition aid, focusing on conflict-hit women and children.

However, needs are vast in the central African nation, where more than 26 million people face severe hunger – more than a quarter of its total population.

“I have seen firsthand that this country has so much potential to produce food for its people and give jobs to youths,” WFP’s DRC Country Director and Representative Peter Musoko, said.

He expressed hope that the pope’s visit would help to highlight the plight of millions of hungry people in the Central African nation, for whom WFP is, sometimes, “the only backstop against catastrophic food insecurity”.

“With an ongoing emergency and limited resource, we are appealing to the international community for $627.3 million in 2023,” Musoko said.

Some of those displaced by violence in DRC’s northeast have found assistance from WFP and partners at the makeshift Kanyaruchinya Camp, outside the provincial capital, Goma.

It is there that farmer Dorati Ndagisa now lives destitute with her five children after armed groups chased her from her homestead in eastern Nord Kivu Province.

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Her plight is mirrored by many others, a result of chronic unrest linked to conflict from 1998 to 2003 over precious raw materials that involved as many as eight regional neighbours, and which spawned more than 100 armed groups now terrorizing communities in eastern DRC.

“Before, I was a farmer and I had a stable life,” said Ndagisa, who once grew beans and potatoes in the village of Rugari, 35km (21.7 miles) away.

“Since the war, I have nothing and I don’t know how to feed my children.”

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