Guinea: Capacity Building
Population: 12.72 million
The health status of the Guinean population continues to give cause for concern. According to the Integrated Core Survey for the Evaluation of Poverty access to health services within 30 minutes of travel is 38.9% and rate of use is only 18.6%. On average, 53.7% of health-service users are dissatisfied with the care they receive. The main reasons given are the high cost of services, poor quality of treatment, long waiting times and shortages of medicine. The major challenge of the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy is to expand health coverage to the entire population by strengthening the delivery of health services and developing community healthcare.
- There are an estimated .1 doctors per 1,000 population and .043 nurses and midwives per 1,000 population (2005).
- Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth): 64.9
- Under 5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 101
*Estimates Developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN DESA Population Division)
Goma, like the entire North Kivu province, suffers from over fifteen years of armed conflict. Medical facilities are underdeveloped or virtually nonexistent and there are only 6 certified surgeons for over 6 million inhabitants in the region. In 2017, USFC organized a mission to the Maternal Charity Hospital – one which was lacking a surgeon and an anesthetist. During this two-week mission:
- 20 patients received successful surgeries
- 6 doctors received training to improve their practice and learn basic, life-saving skills.
In 2015, two conjoined twins from Guinea were sent to Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris to receive surgery. Their healthy return home was widely celebrated and led to USFC’s interest in programming in Guinea. Throughout 2016 eight different children received surgeries in France, however, providing surgery in France only makes sense if it will one day be possible to operate in Guinea. In 2016, USFC organized a mission to asses the healthcare infrastructure across the country. Unfortunately, no public hospital seemed to be well equipped and well-functioning to welcome in-country missions and building a new construction was out of budget. During this exploratory mission, the Donka Teaching Hospital was under renovation including the expansion of a pediatric surgery unit. The unit, which is being built to hold 20 beds will allow for future USFC training missions. In preparation, USFC has provided new equipment and began training two students in the regional postgraduate pediatric surgery programs in Senegal and Benin. Furthermore, an additional student received a scholarship from USFC to finance his studies abroad. In this country we also treat patients who may have had esophageal stenosis.