Yes, you read that correctly: On June 26th, 2018, the United Nations Population Fund awarded the Population Award to Save a Child’s Heart for its work at Wolfson Medical Center.
Earlier this week, the doctors with Save a Child’s Heart, an organization based in Holon just south of Tel Aviv, were honored at the United Nations, where Israeli positions have often clashed with those held by Arab member nations. But group co-founder Dr. Sion Houri said that when it comes to children’s lives, “our activity is international, non-political and non-religious.”
He and two fellow physicians, Lior Sasson and Akiva Tamir, accepted the U.N. Population Award Tuesday for saving young lives – especially in war-torn and developing lands.
The non-profit, funded mostly by private donors with some contributions from governments, has performed surgery on nearly 5,000 children since it was started about two decades ago, including more than 2,000 from the West Bank and Gaza and 300 from Iraq and Syria. The rest came from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and throughout the Middle East.
At the moment, 44 children are being treated free-of-charge at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
Meanwhile, in other Israeli humanitarian work news:
The Israeli military brought six wounded Syrian nationals, four of them reportedly newly orphaned children, into the country for treatment in a local hospital late Friday night, in a “unique and complex medical operation,” the army said.
The six Syrians were among those injured in Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s renewed offensive against the remaining rebel holdouts in southwestern Syria. Earlier on Friday evening, local leaders in the area made contact with Israel in order to transfer the injured, the Israel Defense Forces said on Saturday night.
“In a unique and complex medical operation by the Bashan Division, six moderately to severely injured Syrian were received and treated last Friday night, including four children. According to reports from the Syrian side, the families of the children were killed in bombings during the fighting in Syria, and the children were rushed to Israel to receive treatment,” the IDF said in a statement.