According to Muhammad, a 25 year-old cardiac surgical resident – and part of the newly launched ICHF mission – Nasiriyah is a small town, with only around two million residents. It is not the center of things. Not yet at least.
His dream growing, up in Baghdad (a city of about 6 million), was always to be a doctor. He kept his grades up through primary school to ensure he’d qualify for medical school. It was a goal he held onto throughout the troubles of the last decade. Recalling his time as a medical student in Baghdad, he says, “It bad, horrible, colleagues were killed and kidnapped right before our eyes. What do you do? You must live. You must go to work, go to school, go have fun.”
If he was raised in a center of violence in Iraq, he now works at the center of the solution. As a surgical resident at the Narsiriyah Heart Center, he is part of the “Remedy Partnership”, the ICHF one-year mission at the hospital.
The program, launched this week, is off to a successful start with four successful procedures in two days. This mission is not about just stepping in and saving lives, though. Those blue babies who are given a second chance at childhood are a means to an end. A major component to this mission is the establishment of protocols and systems that will create an efficient and effective program over the course of the next year that will last long into the future.
By establishing as a regional pediatric cardiac center in Nasiriyah to serve southern Iraq, the ICHF helping change the center of things from violence to healing.