Maria Elena Cuomo, President of the Foundation, with the young Ronel Désiré (Liberia) at the CCPC 'Maison des enfants', 16 October 2018
On October 13, 2018, three young Liberians, Ronel Désiré (2 years old), Famata and Marthaline (3 years old) accompanied by their moms and their paediatrician Dr. Sia Wata Camanor, arrived at Dakar’s Centre Cardio-Pédiatrique Cuomo (CCPC). Over the next week, these children will benefit from cardiac surgeries undertaken by the CCPC medical staff.
The transfer of the three Liberian kids was possible thanks to the first public-private partnership between the John F. Kennedy Public Hospital in Monrovia, the National University Hospital in Dakar, the Cuomo Foundation and La Chaîne de l’Espoir. Ravaged by a 14-year-long of civil war and two years of Ebola, just as devastating, Liberia's health system and medical facilities are now in extreme precariousness. Due the lack of operating theatres and ancillary services that are in line with the highly demanding paediatric heart surgeries, many young Liberians currently struggle between life and death. According to Dr. Camanor, Chief Medical Officer of JFK Hospital, the number of children in her medical department alone is more than 100. The cases of young Ronel Désiré, Famata and Marthaline are among the most critical.
Surgical interventions they will benefit in Dakar will be provided by a Senegalese medical team led by Professor Gabriel Cisse, Senior Surgeon at the Cuomo Centre. This flagship facility, first of its kind in West Africa, was built and equipped with the contribution of the Cuomo Foundation. Benefiting from the support of CHNU Fann of Dakar, the Senegalese government and the Chain of Hope, the CCPC is conceived as a regional platform capable of meeting the paediatric needs of an entire region.
Equipped with technical services corresponding to the most up-to-date international medical standards, the CCPC has two operating rooms, an intensive care unit along with hospitalisation and medical consultation services. With regular international programmes taking place, the Center is now strengthening its role as a pivotal medical platform for the sub-Saharan region. Since January 2017, more than 250 children, including those from Guinea-Bissau and Mali, have been treated there.
Maria Elena Cuomo, President of the Foundation, who is currently in Dakar, regularly visits the three young Liberians who stay at the “Maison des enfants". Another component of the CCPC, this respite home, built around an open-air courtyard, offers a soothing sojourn for children and their families during the pre- and post-operative phases.