NFA, or Neonatologists for Africa, is a newly established NGO (non-governmental organization) that aims to fundamentally change the approach, equipment, and treatment of newborns in the first minute of their life, the Golden Minute, in target countries in Africa. Our goal is to significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality rates among this population.
Neonatologists for Africa
Infant mortality rate (IMR) in Africa ranges
from 30/1000 life birth to 67.5/1000 in
various countries and sites
a large portion of this deaths occur in the
first days of life, many of them are
preventable by proper simple intervention
basic in the first minute of life – also known
as the GOLDEN MINUTE
our vision is reducing dramatically preventable
IMR in designated sites in Africa by :
a. teaching local health providers the basic knowledge
to enable proper neonatal resuscitation
(golden minute algorithm)
b. providing and installing neonatal ventilation equipment
adapted to local infrastructure
c. providing long term support and encouraging
motivation and building local capacity by tech to tech
and joined team work
The beginning: A humanitarian visit to Chad
In March 2022, Dr. Meir Ezra Elia, a pediatric professional, visited Benjama hospital in Chad as part of a humanitarian delegation of medical personnel. There, he observed that local newborns were not receiving the medical help they needed in the first minute of their lives. The main difference he noticed was in the “golden minute,” the critical first minute after birth when applying proper life support can make a significant difference in a baby’s life.
The golden minute
This lack of...Read more
The intervention model: a two-Step approach
The association’s intervention model is called step 1, step 2
Step 1: understanding local needs and creating an intervention plan
A limited team with knowledge, technical abilities, and good interpersonal communication travels to the destination country. The team gets to know selected hospitals, understands the gaps in knowledge, equipment, and motivation, creates interpersonal relationships with the local teams, maps logistical barriers, and assesses local needs. Upon returning to Israel, the professional team creates an operative intervention plan, and the purchasing department will make...Read more
Dr. Rafael Mendelsohn
He is a pediatrician, studied at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary.
He completed his pediatric residency at Dana Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov), Israel and completed the neonatology training at Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Canada.
Currently, he is the director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov), Israel. He is married to Sarai, father of 3 boys. He enjoys music, a good run, and traveling around the world.
Dr. Adir Iofe (B. EMS, M.D)
He received his medical degree from Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy. He completed his residency in pediatrics and his fellowship in neonatology at Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.
For the past four years, he has worked as a senior neonatologist in the neonatal intensive care unit at Bnai Zion Medical Center and as a primary pediatrician. As a neonatologist, one of his objectives is neonatal resuscitation. He is part of the NRP Instructors Team at his institution. He is married to Meital and father to Eythan, Amit, Arbel, and Ofer.
Co-CEO and CPA at the accounting firm Gabay-Schlafman. Born and raised in Holon, Israel.
In the army, Dror served as a commander of a sniper unit in the paratroopers special forces. To this day, he serves as part of the reserved forces, training young soldiers before their combat allocations.
After his mandatory army service, he founded a nonprofit organization for volunteers who were looking for projects they could help with. He worked in various positions at the internal security service (Shabak) while earning his B.A. in accounting.
Dror also has an M.B.A. He recently sold his e-learning company, GADA, to Lnet. Today, he lives in Adanim (a moshav) with his wife and three children.
Nadav Eyal is one of Israel's most prominent journalists and a winner of the Sokolov Award – Israel's Pulitzer Prize. He is a columnist for Yediot Ahronot, Israel's most circulated newspaper and a senior commentator for Channel 13, one of Israel's two commercial channels. Eyal is the author of the bestseller "REVOLT, the Worldwide Uprising Against Globalization", published in 2021 by Ecco HarpersCollins (USA) and Picador (UK), as well as a dozen more countries.
The book was described as 'A well-written and thought-provoking account of the current crisis of globalization. Not everyone will agree with Eyal's interpretation, but few will remain indifferent.' – Yuval Noah Harari
'With dispatches from around the globe, Nadav Eyal explores why so many people are rejecting interdependence, even at a time when we need each other more than ever. The message is clear that we need to redefine the terms of our interdependence – to minimize the dangers, spread the benefits more broadly, and build a global community capable of confronting our collective challenges together.' – President Bill Clinton
Eyal deals extensively with Israel's position in a globalized world and Washington-Jerusalem relations. His writings have also appeared in Haaretz, the Daily Telegraph, Axios, Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and Foreign Affairs. During his career, he has served in senior positions in major Israeli media groups, interviewed four Israeli prime ministers and several foreign heads of state. Haaretz described Eyal as "... a knight of common sense... The expertise, the knowledge and the almost impossible range of proficiency for a man in his thirties... a synonym for TV journalism at its best" (2015).
In 2016, several months before the presidential elections, Eyal aired "Trumpland", a series of short documentaries detailing the grievances haunting America and specifically the Rust Belt. These received much attention for presenting a serious prospect of a Trump victory. A year earlier, he accompanied Syrian refugees in their voyage through Europe, from the moment they landed in Greece until their first job interview in Germany. In 2014, Eyal aired the documentary "Hate", which dealt with rising anti-Semitism and included conversations with neo-Nazis and leaders of nationalist groups across Europe.
For most of his career, Eyal has covered Israel's turbulent political arena, leading political desks in three general elections. His special assignments have included three U.S. presidential elections (2008, 2012, 2016), the Second Lebanon War (2006) and Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip (2005). In 2008, he became Ma'ariv's chief correspondent in Europe, stationed in London. He covered, among other events, the Mumbai terror attack, the Greek and EU financial crises and IAEA monitoring of Iran's nuclear program.
Eyal holds an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (with merit), which he received as a Chevening Scholar, and an LL.B. from Hebrew University (magna cum laude). Eyal was a fellow in the China-Israel Innovation Fellowship led by the Aspen Institute (2016-2017) and participated in the Brookings Institute’s Saban Forum (2014-2017) and Chatham House's UK-Israel Strategic Dialogue (2017, 2019, 2021). He received B'nai B'rith’s World Center Award for Journalism (2015) in recognition of "excellence in Diaspora reportage."
Itay Ben-Horin is the owner and CEO of Ben Horin and Alexandrovich. He is one of the leading strategic consultants and crisis managers in Israel. He works with leading entities in the Israeli economy in the business and public spheres. In addition to his business activities, Itay volunteers in a number of major organizations in Israel in the areas of public relations and public struggles.
Dr. Meir Ezra-Elia
Dr. Meir Ezra-Elia is a pediatric specialist working at Israel's Maccabi Healthcare Services. He is the founder of Neonatologists for Africa (NFA) – a non-governmental organization founded in 2022 that aims to reduce infant mortality across the African continent by training local physicians in a basic intervention protocol and providing neonatal ventilators and the skills to use them effectively.
Dr. Ezra-Elia is also co-founder of the Vaccinated Kindergarten, a community-based initiative addressing vaccine hesitancy in Israel. The project advocates for routine immunizations among preschool children and was awarded the prestigious Magen Prize for outstanding volunteerism by Israel's Ministry of Health in 2022. Dr. Ezra-Elia is also a member of the Health Ministry Advisory team on this topic.
Dr. Sharon Morag
Dr. Sharon Morag
She gained her medical education in the Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Israel. She did her residency in pediatrics at Dana Dwek Children's Hospital, Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv. She completed her fellowship in neonatology at Tel Hashomer Medical Center. For the last four years, she has worked as a senior neonatologist at Sheba Medical Center. She is a mother of two kids, Alma and Ben.
Eldad Sitbon is 43 years old, married, and father of two children. He lives in Tel Aviv. Eldad is a businessman and, among other things, specializes in data processing and presentation. During the last pandemic, Eldad analyzed data in Israel and around the world. His numerous analyses, presented on his Twitter, gave an effective and practical tool both at the level of the public and at the level of decision-making regarding conduct during the epidemic. Eldad is an honorary CFO on a voluntary basis at NFA and a key contributor to the association's financial management and procurement.
Dr. Heaven Lawgaw
Graduated from the Medical University of Lublin in Poland in 2021, currently working on her internship and getting her medical license. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she volunteered on administering COVID-19 vaccines to medical students throughout Poland, and her role at NFA is that of a project manager.
Mr. Tsipris is a partner at "Sosenko Tsipris" digital ad agency.
He brings vast experience and knowledge in running and advising to campaigns in the political and public worlds, including healthcare.
He is in charge of NFA's branding & publicity.
Jaron Varsano is an Israeli real estate developer and film producer, best known as the husband of actress Gal Gadot. Born on June 3, 1975, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Varsano studied at the New York Institute of Technology. He began his career in real estate, where he made significant strides, but gained international recognition when he became involved in the film industry. In 2016, Jaron and his wife Gal co-founded Pilot Wave, a production company, and have since produced several successful films. Despite his own achievements, Varsano often keeps a low profile, prioritizing his family life with Gadot and their two daughters.