Tens of thousands of children are born with heart disease annually in Egypt, for unknown reasons. However, the reasons that these children are not being operated on are known; they are the paralysis of heart-surgery centers, due to the Ministry of Health’s failure to address their limitations, as they are not on the ministry’s list of priorities.
Specialized heart-surgery centers, such as Egypt’s Children’s Hospital in Abul Rish, perform 1,200 surgeries annually; this number could increase to 1,700 surgeries. However, such expansions need equipment that could cost up to 10 million EGP: a sum that shouldn’t represent a problem for businessmen in Egypt, especially if this sum could save 500 children annually from death or disability.
Globally, performing child heart surgeries is limited by the number of specialized surgeons in the field. In Egypt, however, there is a surplus of heart surgeons, to the point that there are disputes between them to get the largest number of cases.
The main obstacle is providing medical equipment, as well as the scarcity of specialized nursing. This leads to the postponement of more than 6,500 children’s surgeries annually. The majority of them end up dying, or are disabled, affecting the Egyptian families psychologically and economically. Is it not our right to hope to find a quick solution for this humanitarian crisis? Or will Egypt remain condemned to constant lip service from officials who are otherwise incompetent?
Translated from the original Arabic.