Operating rooms at Halibet Hospital

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Title of the project

Operating rooms at Halibet Hospital

Place of the action

Asmara, Eritrea

Description of the context

In Eritrea there are complex socio-sanitary conditions such as limited availability… For several years, Annulliamo la Distanza in partnership with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute of Bologna have collaborated with the Eritrean Ministry of Health, the Halibet Hospital in Asmara and in the last two years also with UNICEF Eritrea, to provide for the care of children with malformations at the lower limbs in a country where this type of support had not yet been developed. The cooperation has provided Eritrean medical personnel with the assistance of Italian orthopedists, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians, initiate pediatric orthopedic surgery at the Halibet Hospital in Asmara. Over the course of six years, we have organized several expeditions, and over 800 children have been visited. In addition to congenital clubfoot, we have observed a multitude of diseases severely debilitating childhood, including congenital hip dysplasia, cerebral palsy, axial deformities of the lower limbs and trauma outcomes. Among these, 400 children that underwent surgery were selected,  and a research study was carried out on 45 cases of inveterate congenital clubfoot through a collaboration between the Eritrean and the Italian professionals. Beyond that, we completed the construction of two new operating theatres thanks to private funding granted by a family from Milan and thanks to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation through UNICEF Eritrea

The project

Our project aims at preserving what we built through significant economic effort. A well maintained item is an item that can easily perform its functions. Whether it is a property, an electrical system or (no an) equipment, through maintenance (no virgola) it can continue to meet the users’ needs, guaranteeing quality and safety. Furthermore, maintenance can improve the goods’ performance, it can reduce management or operating costs, it can limit energy consumption and, in general, the maintenance costs themselves, if it is performed by qualified personnel in due time. The healthcare sector, and particularly hospitals, require special attention concerning maintenance. In order to treat patients safely and ensure the achievement of the expected performance in a safe environment, it is essential to guarantee reliability, availability and continuity of operation of the buildings, systems and equipment. Maintenance and healthcare therefore represent an inseparable, delicate, complex and strategic combination. For this reason, our project aims at providing assistance both in financial terms and in terms of skills in order to improve the quality and functioning of the buildings, systems and equipment at Halibet hospital.

Achieved result

Unfortunately, we were unable to organise any medical monitoring mission in 2020. We are in contact with the local staff and we know that medical personnel is using the operating rooms daily. We collected requests for materials, tools and equipment that are missing, and often not available on site. We are going to ship the missing items as soon as a new container will be sent to Eritrea.
We hope to be able to return to Asmara soon, both to monitor the state of the new operating block and help with the annual maintenance plan and to continue the collaboration between our medical doctors and Eritrean health personnel.