Ivory Coast: Training & Capacity Building
Population: 25.72 million
Ivory Coast has a population growth rate of 2.6% annually and a high proportion of young people. The health situation of the population is characterized by a high maternal and under-5 mortality rate due to a lack in quality healthcare. The epidemiological profile is dominated by HIV, malaria and tuberculosis but noncommunicable diseases including cancer and high blood pressure are on the rise – responsible for 31% of deaths. A main focus for the country has been to revitalize primary healthcare and develop human resources for healthcare.
- There are an estimated .143 doctors per 1,000 population and .479 nurses and midwives per 1,000 population (2008).
- Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth): 59
- Under 5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 80.9
- Average Life Expectancy: 57 years old
*Estimates Developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN DESA Population Division)
Supporting the Ivory Coast Since 2014
Since 2014, USFC has been working closely with the Children of Africa Foundation to improve healthcare infrastructure in-country by offering:
- Legal Aid
- Site Monitoring
- Logistical Support
- Financial Support
- Human Resources Assistance
In addition, Children of Africa is led by the first lady of the Ivory Coast, Dominique Ouattara. Also, through the years we’ve been able to support the medical community even more. With attention to our in-person training and online medical training, we’ve been able to help hospital personnel develop their skills.
Starting in 2018, USFC developed a training plan improving local professional’s skills in:
- X-ray protection
- Equipment Maintenance
- Gynecology & Obstetrics
- Ultrasound Techniques
- Improving Imagery Skills
- Organizing an Operating Room in the best way
- Pediatric Oncology
- Patient Administration System Consulting
- Shortening Waiting Times
- Managing Treatment for Indigent Patients
In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, in 2019 we’ve included more programs. Because quality medical care is difficult to find in West Africa, training local staff helps cover any gaps in treatment.
With this in mind, we started expanding our training initiatives to include support for:
- The Bingerville Mother-Child Hospital along with the Children of Africa Foundation
- Esophageal Stenosis Surgery
- Laparoscopic Surgery
- Vaginal Surgery
- Interventional X-Ray Techniques
- Sterilization Techniques
Before these developments in the Ivory Coast, we could not do these tasks on location. As a result, we’d need to fly patients out of the country to receive treatment for such issues. Today, patients can receive the care they need in-country.
The Bingerville Mother & Child Hospital
In March 2019 the Bingerville Mother-Child Hospital, a joint effort between USFC and the Children of Africa Foundation, officially opened its doors. The hospital is a reference for the country and the wider sub-region providing high-quality treatment for mothers and children, free of cost for the poorest members of the population.
Not only does this hospital benefit the people of the Ivory Coast. It also benefits the following countries:
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
In addition, this hospital helps to treat some of West Africa’s most pressing health needs. Most recently, at the Bingerville Mother-Child Hospital, USFC helped care for 15 children with caustic esophageal stenosis. Unfortunately, chemicals like caustic soda (used in dyes, soaps, and cleaning products), are often stored in the same containers as food or beverages. As a result, children can accidentally consume them and can suffer irreversible damage to their esophagus and stomach. Unfortunately, this happens all across West Africa. Please read our article on this topic to learn more.
Current & Future Missions
Presently, there is still more work to be done. Nearly 20 children from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, and Mali need our help. That is why, starting in late March 2021, USFC will take another trip to the area. We will be sending Pr. Christophe Chardot, visceral pediatric surgeon, & Dr. Rémi Dubois, pediatric surgeon to the area. While in Ivory Coast, they’ll be performing 7-12 esophageal replacements each.
How You Can Support USFC's Ivory Coast Programs
In spite of all of this great work going on in the country, there is still so much more to be done. Above all, the people of the Ivory Coast deserve the high-quality medical care we all take for granted. The only way we can continue our important work is with your help. Please consider donating to USFC.