“Developed countries have medical care, and developing countries do not. The availability and accessibility of health care in Senegal must improve simply because every life matters. With the Hospital of Hope we will prove that healthcare can be delivered affordably in rural areas of a developing country.”
CHERIF DIALLO, M.D., DIRECTOR OF FIELD OPERATIONS
The Hospital of Hope aids communities with no healthcare services through our all-volunteer medical team, which includes one or more physicians, nurse, lab assistant and dentist. Additional doctors, nurses and lab assistants, along with heart and vision specialists, often join our team. Medical professionals contribute their time and training to care for 100-250 patients at each clinic action.
The Hospital of Hope visited Al Boukhari school centre of Rufisque on Saturday, 29 September 2018, and staged a very large clinic where 367 children and adults were examined and treated. The clinic had been scheduled in response to a request by the district office of Medina Toul Salaam. The medical team of seven, led by Field Operations Director Cherif Diallo, M.D., included a pediatrician, a general practitioner, an urologist, three paramedics, and a pharmacist.
Departing from Dakar at 7:00 a.m., the team arrived in Rufisque within 30 minutes and was greeted warmly by a large group of children, older residents, and town leaders. After a short welcome reception, the clinic started with an education program focused on hygiene–especially clean hands– to prevent the spread of disease. The children, who attend a boarding school, live in close quarters where malaria, skin diseases, respiratory tract infections, and dysentery are prevalent and easily transmitted from one child to another because of bad hygiene. During this program, the adults were encouraged to share concerns about deficiencies in hygiene practices.
After the learning session, examinations and consultations with the children and adults started. Among the 300 children examined, the most common pediatric treatments were routine de-worming, dysentery, skin problems (eczema, scabs, scalp dermatitis), as well as sore throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis and malaria. Among the 67 adults, the most frequent diagnoses were parasites, followed by tonsillitis and bronchitis. All patients received medicine for treatment of their ailments, but all drugs and supplies were completely used because the number of patients was very large.
Dr. Diallo said that the children, government leaders, and residents “showed real joy to have been examined and treated. They were also excited about the program on health and hygiene. They expressed many thanks to the HoH medical staff who for the care given and requested a return visit in 2019.”
In a one-day field action in Thies on Saturday, 16 August 2018, the Hospital of Hope team staged a very busy clinic during which the volunteer medical team examined and treated 261 patients, including 142 children and 119 adults. Field Director Cherif Diallo, M.D., organized a medical team that included a pediatrician, three general practitioners, four paramedic nurses, and one pharmacist. Dr. Diallo reported that the diagnoses were relatively routine, but important to treat for long-term general health of the population. Medical conditions including dermatitis, anemia, gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, and parasites in the children. The adults were also treated for osteoarthritis, flu, and hypertension. Concern about infections and chronic diseases were the main reason for scheduling the clinic, which was requested by the Development Office of the Thies Region.
We provided 120 consultations for 33 children and 87 adults, whose health problems ranged from tonsillitis and bronchitis to anemia to parasites. We also gave dental exams and treatment to more than 40 patients. We also diagnosed and paid for treatment for two Niague teenagers who are suffering from severe asthma, so severe that they stopped attending school. Their breathing has been compromised so greatly that they cannot lay down. Their families have very limited incomes, so the hospital paid for consultations with a pneumologist in Dakar and medications to stabilize their health so that they were able to return to school.
At this field action, we consulted with 293 children and adults. The volunteer medical team included five physicians, one dentist and two pharmacists. Our work led to diagnosis of five cases that were complicated and were referred to the Regional Hospital of Thies. Dr. Diallo reported that the village leaders and local authorities expressed thankful prayers for the Hospital of Hope team for their generosity, humanity and efficiency towards the poor on the eve hajj.
In mid-August, the Hospital of Hope (HoH) undertook an adventurous three-day field action on Betenti Island, located on Senegal’s southern coast near The Gambia.
Asked by the Betenti Office of Development to bring health services to four different villages, the HoH team of 12 medical volunteers left Dakar on Friday, August 8, at 10 a.m., arriving at their river crossing at 5 pm. After three hours in pirogues, the crew docked on the island, welcomed by many of the islanders.
Immediately, the Hospital of Hope team began preparation for the clinic on Saturday and Sunday, and by 11 pm, all was ready for two very full days that included examinations and treatments for 422 individuals, including 179 pediatric cases, 168 adult cases, 32 dental treatments, and 43 circumcisions In addition, the team provided screening and education about diabetes and hypertension; education about hygiene; dispensing of medications.
The team was headed by HoH director of field operations Cherif Diallo, M.D., who reported that most treatments were for infectious and chronic diseases, and that the local citizens were “very, very happy that the Hospital of Hope came to the area, as there is a great need.” The action was coordinated so easily and successfully with the island’s office of development that already a request has been made for second HOH action next year.