In 2013, a violent civil war overwhelms one of the poorest countries in the world, the Central African Republic. Half of its population is under eighteen years old. And children are the primary victims of war.
In this situation of chaos and instability, the Complexe Pédiatrique – situated in the capital city of Bangui and the only public paediatric hospital in the country – was in terrible condition: chickens walking in the hallways, motorcycles parked in the operating theatre, the staff canteen situated in the area used for sterilization, and beds without sheets. The centre’s staff had to flee due to the fighting and sanitary conditions were dreadful.
EMERGENCY had been working in the country since 2009, when the director of the Complexe Pédiatrique had asked us for help in managing the emergency department. We started immediately – treating victims of war and poverty has always been our main goal. Both during and after the crisis, we have been committed to responding to the health needs of young patients and, over time, we took charge of most activities at the centre, even going beyond medical treatment. We trained local doctors and nurses, our contribution to ensuring the long-term future and autonomy of the facility.
We have dedicated energy and effort to this project for five years: those who enter the Complexe Pédiatrique today will see a transformed hospital, a national reference point for the care of paediatric patients. A place which guarantees free and high-quality care. The right to treatment belongs to everyone and must always be respected, without discrimination.