“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.
THIAROYE MINAM AND MALIKA
The Hospital of Hope served nearly 650 patients in two very large weekend clinics at the end of April and beginning of May.
On April 25, HOH was in Thiaroye Minam at the request of the regional Department of Development, Health and Hygiene to stage a clinic on the day before Ramadan started. The hospital’s 17-member volunteer medical team worked from 8 am to 7:30 pm examining and treating 296 local residents, including 117 children, 96 adults, and 83 persons over 60 years of age.
On May 4, HOH was back in action at Malika, which is the central discharge point for all trash from the entire city Dakar. A very high density of people live around Malika and rely on the garbage for their livelihoods. As a result, there is a very high incidence of allergies and also respiratory tract infections among the persons in the area.
The clinic was requested by the principal nurse of the Health Centre of Keurmassa operated for 12 hours, starting at 7 am. With 19 volunteer medical personnel helping, the team saw 344 patients, including 169 children, 104 adults, and 71 elders.
Both clinics had the same objectives: To educate about the importance of hygiene to good health; to raise awareness about how dirty hands can spread disease and result in chronic illness; and to provide consultations and treatment.
“The large number of patients we served shows so clearly the great need that Senegal has for health care,” said Field Director Cherif Diallo, M.D. “The medical team is very happy doing these amazing clinics where many people–infants and children, women, adults and elderly–are helped. We can only provide this level of care with the kind support of our donors.”
At the end of December 2018, the Hospital of Hope ran a three-day clinic in Thioubalel Lao, which is in the region of Pete approximately 375 miles northeast. The community is along the Senegal River on the border with Mauritania. The Office of Development for the region had requested the clinic. After a very long drive, the team of 13 medical professionals was greeted by the village’s entire population, who were waiting on the road into Thioubalel.
The only regular health care in the village is a bi-weekly visit from a visiting nurse. With our large medical team, the action goals were to:
- Raise awareness about the importance of hygiene in general, focusing on the spread of disease by unclean hands.
- Educate about malaria and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
- Provide free examinations and treatment for the villagers.
The clinic team was composed of three general practitioners, one pediatrician, one gerontologist, seven nurses and one pharmacist, and they were very busy! They examined and treated 178 children, 121 adults, and 79 elders over the age of 60. The biggest medical issue for all populations was parasites, which were found in more than 150 of those examined. Treatment of parasites is important because they can have acute and chronic negative effects on health and can be transmitted by people living in close quarters.
One severe case was diagnosed during the clinic. A four year-old child was found to have congenital heart disease. After extensive consultation with the parents, our team referred the patient to Fann Hospital in Dakar for further examination and diagnosis. Dr. Diallo will follow-up regarding treatment, which will be paid for by the Hospital of Hope.
The Office of Development was a very good partner on this action, according to our Director of Field Actions Cherif Diallo, M.D. The development office had reserved the primary school for the free clinics, paid for a portion of the cost of medications that the HoH pharmacist dispensed, and provided hospitality, food and lodgings for the medical team.
“This was an outstanding clinic,” Dr. Diallo reported. “Working with the regional authorities was productive. Our medical team was so dedicated and hardworking. And although the trip was long, the village welcomed us so warmly. Obviously, they are in need of health care, and the Hospital of Hope was very glad to provide assistance and advice.”
n September 2018, the Hospital of Hope staged a very large clinic in Al Boukhari school centre of Rufisque. Nearly 370 children and adults were examined and treated. 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. Among the 300 children examined, the most common treatments were routine de-worming, dysentery, skin problems (eczema, scabs, scalp dermatitis), as well as sore throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis and malaria. The most frequent adult diagnoses were parasites, followed by tonsillitis and bronchitis. Dr. Diallo said that the community “showed real joy to have been examined and treated. They were excited about the program on health and hygiene and expressed many thanks to the team 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.