AFRICA/TOGO - New paediatrics and neonatology departments in the poorest part of the country at Afagnan Hospital

Monday, 19 July 2010

Afagnan (Agenzia Fides) - Two new departments, paediatrics and neonatology, complete with the modern equipment will soon be opened at Saint John of God Hospital at Afagnan in Togo. A hospital recently nominated Ambassador of Health by WHO, the World Health Organisation. According to a statement issued by the St John of God Hospitaller Brothers every year departments for paediatrics and neonatology attend to some 200 children and new born babies and more than 2,000 deliveries but an estimated 6,000 children are in need of attention. The work, expected to be finished by the end of the year, will offer more efficient service to the people of Afagnan, in one of the poorest parts of Togo. The Hospital of Afagnan is situated about 90 km from the capital, Lomè. It was opened in 1961 by the Lombardo-Veneta Province of the St John of God Brothers, in an area with a population of 100,000, indicated by the local authorities as the poorest part of Togo. Grave pathologies such as HIV and malaria are rampant here. Today the hospital has 269 beds. In 2008 alone the hospital assisted circa 15,000 patients, of whom 8,500 were in patients. The hospital staff consists of 202 lay men and women and 17 religious men and women. It receives no government assistance and is sustained only by the Lombardo Veneta Province of the Order and contributions from associations. The cost of one day's hospital care for a person is 2.000 F CFA (about 3 euro for medical care, 3 meals and other services). Only a few patients can pay all the expenses and more than 15% , without any means at all, are treated free of charge. (AP) (19/7/2010 Agenzia Fides)