Two memorandums of understanding were signed to cover the cost of medical treatment and air ticket to India for 100 children with heart disease and to further strengthen the services provided by the Ethiopian Children's Cardio Center.

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Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed among the Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Airlines, Rotary International and the Ethiopian Heart Patients Association to send 100 heart patients to India for treatment by covering the full cost of treatment and air tickets. The Ministry of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, said the memorandum of understanding will strengthen the work being done to prevent non-communicable diseases in Ethiopia.

More than 7,000 children and more than 7,000 adults are waiting for cardiac surgery at government institutions and the Ethiopian Cardiology Center, Dr. Lia said; taking these problems into account, two memorandums of understanding have been signed today.

The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covers the full expense of the patient's with their caregivers by Rotary International and Ethiopian Airlines. The Heart Center will identify the patients and will monitor the patients locally upon completion of their treatment abroad. The Ministry of Health will handle taxes and other administrative matters. The second memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Children's Heart Foundation.

Mesfin Tassew, General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, said he is pleased that Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to provide 100 free tickets for the patients and 100 free tickets for the parents of the children. The contribution is made by the ET Foundation, which was established by Ethiopian Airlines to fulfill its social responsibility. Mesfin said the airline will continue to support the Ethiopian Heart Patients Association. 

Rotary Ethiopia Chairperson, Toshome Kebede, said Rotary Ethiopia’s major charitable activities is children and mothers health care. Rotary Ethiopia is currently implementing projects worth over 60 million birr in Ethiopia. He pledged to continue to work with partners in the future in addition to providing support to children with heart disease.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ethiopian Cardiology Center, Selehaddin Kalifa, said that the board is providing medical services to 400 to 500 children with heart disease every year. He said the board is committed to provide medical services to up to 1,500 children a year.

On behalf of the Ministry of Health and the families of the children with heart disease, the Minister of Health, Dr. Lia, thanked the organizations and individuals who signed the agreements.