Since the beginning of the Chain of the Hope activities in Benin in 2011, 13 medical and surgical missions have been carried out in the hospital of Tanguiéta to train the local specialists and care the children living with orthopaedic and ENT deformities.
During these missions, many children received specialized consultations allowing to specify the necessary treatments and to plan surgeries. The Beninese surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and paramedics have been involved in each planned medical and surgical procedure, in a logic of pair working with Belgian specialists. More than 280 children living with complex pathologies underwent surgery in this way thanks to the Chain of Hope.
Generally speaking, the Chain of Hope staff promotes the theoretical and practical training of the local personnel with a collaboration approach between North and South. The reinforcement of the competences and continuing education of the hospital staff is one of the major challenges of the paediatric surgery development in Benin.
In addition, the missions of the NGO allows the provisioning of the hospital with medecine, material and specialized equipments : in particular, medical and surgical consumables indispensable to successful surgeries, an oven for prostheses, blades kits for surgeries, numerous spare parts for orthotics, prostheses (i.a. screws, pins, joints for knee or ankle), hearing devices, …
Long-term project objectives
The Saint-Jean de Dieu hospital in Tanguiéta and the Chain of Hope Belgium cooperate fruitfully since 2010, in particular thanks to the good relationship our Belgian teams maintain, between the missions, with the Beninese staff since the start of the project.
The fundamental objective of the continuing education of the physicians and paramedics of Tanguiéta is reinforced by regular dialogues with local specialists in an « e-learning » perspective: the confirmation of some complex diagnoses, the recommended therapeutic approaches, the medical follow-up of operated patients, the preselection of children to take care of during the missions, etc. occur remotely with the Chain of Hope Belgium. These dialogues facilitate in particular the follow-up and evaluation of the infrastructure, equipments and maintenance.
The intervention of the Chain of Hope Belgium, based on needs expressed by the local staff, is defined in line with the hospital management and the involved staff.
It aims at the main following objectives:
- transmission of an expertise in paediatric orthopaedics and ENT to care complex pathologies of children (acquired or inborn malformation)
- development of the multidisciplinary stream to get a better global care of children with motor disabilities (orthopaedics, anaesthesia, kinesitherapy, orthoprosthesis)
- supply of material, consumables and medical-surgical equipments or appliances
- continuing and gradual education in paediatric techniques of the Beninese personnel
- promotion of healthcare practitioners’ mobility (in particular internships in Tanguiéta) and exchanges between several hospitals of the country in order to improve the competences of the specialists and the quality of the specialized care in Benin.
One of the main difficulties met as part of the project of the Chain of Hope Belgium in Benin is the fact that patients suffering from malformations arrive generally too late at the hospital, when the disease reached an advanced stage. To avoid complications and encourage early care, the major issue is the awareness of the population : this is an objective on which the Chain of Hope Belgium will collaborate with the Tanguiéta hospital management and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Benin during the next five years