Manama: Around 45 Iraqi children have arrived in Bahrain to receive urgently needed medical treatment.
More children are expected to arrive in the coming days as part of an agreement with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The move Sunday came in response to a call to help fund treatment for seriously ill Iraqi children by well-known Iraqi composer Naseer Shamma, who is the head of the newly established Organisation for Culturing and Care of Iraq Children (OCCIC).
An OCCIC official, Amjad Al Suhail, said the children had been selected by a joint Bahraini-Iraqi medical committee from across Iraq, adding that the youngest was a three-month-old baby.
Suhail said the children were to undergo treatment and surgery for conditions including cardiovascular illness, cancer, burns, and bone disease.
Bahrain Health Ministry spokesperson Adel Abdullah said that the ministry had completed all its preparations.
Twelve of the children need surgical and cardiovascular treatment and are to be transferred to the Bahrain Defence Forces Hospital. The others would be treated at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), he said.
Bahrain's king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, had in July ordered the children be treated immediately following a meeting with Shamma.