Children hosted in Belgium

Each year, 8 to 15 children are hosted in Belgium to undergo the necessary treatments to their recovery.

Applications for these children are studied by a specialised medical committee, on the base of a full medical report.

For the application to be accepted, various standards have to be fullfilled; these are related to the pathology, the age of the child, and what access to specialised medical treatment exist in the issuing country.

Following the agreement of the Belgian authorities (SPF Interieur – Foreign Bureau – Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Embassies) the Chaine de l’Espoir Belgium will then organise the stay in Belgium.

Types of Pathology

Chaine de l’Espoir Belgium’s main target are children suffering from pathologies and congenital malformations in the following area: heart, orthopedic, ORL, digestive, urological and neurological.

Prevalence of Heart Treatments

The most frequent requests for treatment are for children suffering from heart pathologies.

Effectively, the complex operating technics as well as the strict post-operative follow-up involve medical equipment and infrastructures with severe security and hygiene standards which often are non-existant in developing countries.


Travelling Children are accompanied by voluntary conveyors from a partner association : “Aviation Sans Frontières”.

Staying with Host Families

Children stay in Belgium for a period of 4 to 8 weeks, and live with voluntary host families, who look after them and take care of their material and emotional requirements.


Children are taken care of by pediatric medico-surgical staff within partner hospitals in Belgium.  At the end of their convalescence, and once recovered, the children return to their country and family.

Treatments Abroad

Chaîne de l’Espoir Belgium carry out long-term projects.

Their aim is to help local teams  acquire autonomy in taking care of children suffering of pathologies requiring specialised technical operations.

Surgical Missions

Surgical missions are carried out in Africa and South America; in view to improve the access to specialised health care for children.  Countries where these missions are carried out have been defined following local requests.

The targets of these missions are multiple:

  • examine, operate and treat a great number of children
  • train local doctors and paramedics through organised binomial work, aiming for
  • the local staff to acquire autonomy in treating pediatric pathologies
  • hand out medical supplies and equipment

Positively, Chaîne de l’Espoir Belgium carry out:

  • heart surgery and catheterism, orthopedic surgery, ORL/cervico-facial and urological missions
  • 1 to 3 missions per year (8 to 15 days), in Nicaragua, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal and Congo Kinshasa
  • Each mission involves 10 to 30 operations following the discipline, and approximately 50 specialised consultations
  • teams include voluntary surgeons and doctors, expert in specialised pediatric disciplines, but also qualified paramedical staff (nurses, biotechnicians, physiotherapists, prothesists….)
  • The cost of one mission varies from 3,000 to 30,000 euros, subject to the country, the speciality, and the members of the team.

Team Set Up

Voluntary members are all experts in treating pediatric pathologies, and originate from various Belgian and French hospital institutions such as Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, UZ Gent, Chirec, Hopital Reine Fabiola, Hopital de Jolimont, CHU Ambroise Paré,…

Countries where Chaîne de l’Espoir Belgium operate

Presently, Chaîne de l’Espoir Belgium are active in the following countries:

Benin                         Tanguieta                   Saint Jean de Dieu Hospital

Rwanda                     Kigali                           King Faisal Hospital

Senegal                      Dakar                          Hopital Albert Royer

Nicaragua                  Managua                    Hospital La Mascota

Congo Kinshasa        Kinshasa                    Clinique Ngaliema and Unikin

Support for partner hospitals

Long Term Projects

The medico-surgical projects are fully part of projects centered on training and improvement of sanitary and technical environment.  They are carried out in partnership with the local structures and the country’s official authorities, thus with a sustainable development prospect.  Concrete targets are defined with the assistance of the management committee of the project’s partner hospitals.

A Long Term Action

The target, within this long term action, is to consolidate access and quality of specialised care for children, in their native country.

These include:

  1. The medico-surgical support to children of partner countries, within a process of technology and empowerment transfer.
  2. Advocacy actions with institutional and government authorities in partner countries.
  3. Studying and setting up solutions to advantage financial access to specialised treatments.

Improving the quality of child health treatment

  1. Theoretical and practical training of local pluridisciplinary teams in partner countries during medico-surgical missions, as well as receiving grants for short (3 months) or long (1 to 2 years) term abroad (Europe, India, South Africa …)
  2. Reinforcement of the partner hospital’s sanitary and technical environment in view to develop units of reference.