There are an estimated 4,000 – 5,000 children in Morocco in need of cardiac intervention. The heart surgery program in Marrakech, led by Professor Drissi Boumzebra has established itself as a beacon of hope for the children of Morocco and surrounding countries. It is our hope and expectation that we can continue our longstanding collaboration with Pr. Boumzebra and his team to help support the great work that they are carrying out.
We have built an association of charitable organizations to improve health care for the children of Morocco, focusing on collaborating with clinical teams in Rabat and Marrakech. This effort has been led by cardiologist Dr. Craig Sable (Executive Director of Telemedicine), Mary Fuska (Operations Manager of Telehealth) and Oswaldo Rivera (Biomedical Engineer) from Children’s National Medical Center, and the Mosaic Foundation. In 2005, the Mosaic Foundation awarded the Children’s National Telemedicine program $700,000 to support the establishment of an international pediatric tele-education network between Children’s National and Morocco. Intelsat has donated satellite dishes and time to support this work. Mrs. Felicia Mekouar, the wife of former Moroccan Ambassador Aziz Mekouar, was instrumental in securing this award and stewardship of its implementation. A second donation was made in 2009 to fund cardiac surgical trips to Marrakech based on the success of Marrakech Pr. Boumzebra. Children’s National Health System has made a commitment through Dr. Sable, Dr. Joshua Kanter (Director of Cardiac Catheterization) and Dr. Richard Jonas (Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery), to help support the growth of a pediatric heart program in Marrakech. Our program has been sustainable for nearly a decade, but additional funding is needed to continue our successful partnership.
A Summary of our Partnership with Morocco To Date:
- Excellent working relationship with Moroccan Embassy/Ambassador Rachad Bouhlal.
- 12 visits by Children’s National telemedicine team.
- Partnership with Marrakech Cardiology/Cardiovascular Surgery team.
- Pr. Drissi Boumzebra has established a high level cardiac surgery program in Marrakech regarded as the best in Morocco, performing over 150 operations per year on children.
- Ongoing telemedicine activities.
- Weekly cardiovascular surgery conference between Marrakech and Washington.
- Monthly pediatric subspecialty conferences between Rabat and Washington. Topics have included nutrition, diabetes, celiac disease, asthma, and brain tumors.
- Scientific meetings highlighting our work together.