At the end of 2022, a team went to Conakry in Guinea for the first time. Although we had already operated on 80 children from this country, no mission had yet been carried out there.
An essential mission for heart childrens Guineans
The objectives of this assignment:
- Review in consultation the children already operated on
- Screening children for heart disease
- Meet with local actors in the field of pediatrics in order to build strong relationships
- Training Guinean doctors in cardiopediatrics
The team composed of Dr. Marielle Gouton, cardiopediatrician, Esen Dalmaz and Marie Bruchet, permanent members of the medical team of the Association, was very much expected.
In this country, where access to cardiopediatrics is difficult for the local population, especially in rural areas, due to a lack of financial means and specialists, some families coming from far away (sometimes 4 days by road!) did not hesitate to wait for long hours or to sleep in the waiting room to be sure to be received in consultation.
Days dedicated to consultations
Every day, at the Ignace Deen National Hospital in Conakry, dozens of little patients have been able to benefit from a free consultation with our cardiologist, followed by a social survey that allows us to know more about the child and his living conditions.
As part of their follow-up, 71 children from all over the country were called by our referring physician, Dr. Bassirou Bah. 33 of them showed up and we are delighted to have found them transformed by their surgery. Others, already operated on, need a second surgery to finish the operation to repair their heart.
As for screening, Dr. Gouton has consulted 104 children, 60 of whom have an urgent surgical indication and whose files are being studied by our medical staff in France. The first patients will soon arrive in France for cardiac surgery.
A referral doctor who is very involved with us
Nearly half of the Guinean children operated on by our association were operated on between 2021 and 2022, thanks to our collaboration with Dr. Bassirou Bah and his team, who spare no effort in assisting children with heart disease, following up patients over time, and making quality diagnoses.
In addition to the consultations, our team met with several partners residing in the country who could collaborate with us in order to facilitate the management of the Guinean children's files, as well as with local doctors as part of our training program in cardiopediatrics.
The 5/5 Training, a real success in the country
The 5/5 Training is very appreciated in Guinea and has already trained 12 doctors in the country, 50% of whom regularly collaborate with the Association for the surgical management of their patients. This strong dynamism has strengthened our network of doctors locally and the demand continues to grow, with 35 new doctor registrations in 2022.
The results of this mission are positive in terms of the objectives we had set for ourselves. We would like to return to Guinea, in a more remote area of the capital, where there is neither a pediatrician nor a cardiologist, in order to help the children who did not have the possibility to come to meet us in Conakry.