AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. - "Where nobody wants to go": Doctors with Africa CUAMM reaches more than 200,000 people

Tuesday, 15 February 2022


Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Finally the last mile! We left the capital of the Central African Republic four years ago, where the country's only pediatric hospital is located. Here we have been called to carry out hard and complex work that, however, has given important results". This is how Don Dante Carraro, director of Doctors with Africa Cuamm, describes the first results obtained in the extreme northwest of Central Africa, between Chad and Cameroon. "Each year, almost 20,000 children are hospitalized and 70,000 receive outpatient treatment. We will continue this valuable pediatric service in Bangui by supporting, in particular, the training of nursing and medical staff". "Furthermore - says the priest, who is also a surgeon - we are happy to finally start our work abroad, in the most abandoned and difficult rural areas of the country, where nobody wants to go. Our last mile".
The CUAMM director explains that more than 200,000 people live in the two districts of Bocaranga and Ngaundaye. "These are unsafe areas. In 2013, clashes began between French-backed anti-government rebels and the Russian-backed regular army, or so they say. There are many who seek raw materials. And they are very poor areas. In the town of Bocaranga we could not even find bread, water was hard to find, and we only had dinner thanks to the good will of a lady. The hospital, with a hundred beds with almost a thousand deliveries a year, guarantees diagnosis and treatment thanks to the twenty years of presence of a specialized nurse who covers everything from caesarean sections to amputations. There is no laboratory, very few medicines, no doctor! The reception of the health authorities of the hospital was emotional and fraternal". The Covid vaccination machine has also been launched. "The end-of-year doses are also arriving in Bocaranga. We checked the hospital records: from January 17 to February 3, 2022, 958 people were vaccinated, starting with health workers. We have promised to support them by opening other vaccination points among the 32 peripheral centers managed by the district. In this way, we are integrating vaccination against Covid with vaccination against other common diseases. Suffice it to say that only 25% of children are vaccinated against measles".
Don Dante firmly reiterates that vaccination against Covid in Africa must be supported in every way, "beyond the simplifications that we sometimes read in the newspapers. It must be done because it is the right thing to do, it also protects us and strengthens the fragile local health systems: three objectives in one". (DC/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 15/2/2022)