Dubai: In view of the growing "deterioration" of health facilities in Iraq, more than 50 Iraqi children have been flown in from Dubai to India to receive life-saving surgery courtesy of a UAE charity group, a newspaper report has said.
Each of the 57 youngsters, aged between one and 18, was accompanied by a parent on their journey to a Bangalore hospital, where most of them will receive heart surgery, a report in `The National` said.
According to the report, the group Tareeq al Zuhoor has helped 238 children receive surgeries.
Ayad Abbas, a founder of the group, said because of the "deterioration" of health facilities in Iraq, the trips abroad were essential.
Abbas, who lives in Abu Dhabi, said he expected the group to spend no less than a month at the specialist paediatric heart hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore.
Lengths of stays can be unpredictable as some children on previous trips were diagnosed with other illnesses which required further treatment.
A 14-year-old boy lost his eye in an explosion in Baghdad. "He has tried to get eye surgery since the explosion, but has not been able to," Abbas said.
"There is a lot of frail and petite children because many of them have blockages in their hearts. It will be wonderful when everything is finished," he told the newspaper.
Countries in the Gulf have volunteered their services as part of the programme and about 85 children have already been treated in Abu Dhabi.