Foundation Surgery for African Children
The charity that the IWC will contribute to in 2020-2021 is the Fondation CEA (Chirurgie pour l’enfance africaine) (in English Foundation Surgery for African Children). The Fondation CEA is based in Lausanne, but works in West Africa. Over the past 30 years the Pediatric Surgery Service of the CHUV (University hospital of the Canton of Vaud) has had an ongoing collaboration with the NGO Terre des Hommes and the sub-Saharan region of Togo, Benin, Nigeria, with the aim of providing quality surgical care to indigenous children. Annual surgical missions with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, speech therapists, as well as follow-up annual consultations have been the keystone of this activity. In 2014 the Foundation CEA was created to raise funds for this collaboration.
There are 2 missions per year- in January 14 days for 70 operations, and in September 6 days for consultations. The surgery for children covers the following: facial cleft, burns, malformation of the digestive tract, thoracic, urology, malformation of hands and feet. As part of the program, the Foundation CEA doctors train local doctors in pediatric surgery; 4 young surgeons have been trained so far. Foundation CEA raised funds to build and equip a 2 room operating unit in the pediatric wing of a department hospital in Benin which provides bi-weekly surgery by young surgeons. A housing construction with 8 rooms was built in 2015 to provide living quarters for these students. This construction is an additional step in the transfer of competence in pediatric surgery from Switzerland to Benin which will significantly contribute to the long-term establishment of surgical care to the pediatric population of the region. The program differs significantly from other surgical humanitarian program in several aspects. First is the accent on quality control of the surgical outcome as the child grows- there is regular systematic follow-up. Population education also makes up an important part of the work, with multiple workshops involving parents and health workers to increase awareness concerning malformations and accident prevention. Thirdly, a partnership was signed by the members of the Foundation CEA, Terre des Hommes and the Beninese government determining the rights and responsibilities of the parties to ensure the sustainability of the program.
Funding for Foundation CEA is used entirely for local activity and care, except CHF1000 annually for the audit of the accounts. The annual budget is CHF30,000, of which CHF5,000-10,000 are provided by the CHUV depending on the year, with the remainder coming from private donors.
The money we raise will go to support Foundation CEA’s activity in Togo. Terre des Hommes stopped its activity in Togo for political and economic reasons. However, Foundation CEA has been working in Togo for more than 30 years and would lose all the work done by 2 social workers who want to continue their work in partnership with Foundation CEA. The charity is trying to raise money to support them (budget of CHF45,000 per year) and looking for funds to keep this activity going.
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