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 of financial resources for hospitals and a deficient education system in specialist healthcare, which unfortunately does not ensure adequate orthopaedic care to the population, particularly to children. For several years, Annulliamo la Distanza in partnership with Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute of Bologna started a cooperation with the Eritrean Ministry of Health, the Halibet Hospital in Asmara and in the last two years also with UNICEF Eritrea, in order to provide for the care of children with malformations the lower limbs in a country where this type of support had not yet been developed.
This collaboration has provided the coaching staff with the Eritrean Health Orthopedic, anesthetists, nurses and Italian technicians in order to start the activities of pediatric orthopedic surgery at the Halibet Hospital in Asmara.
Over the course of six years we were organized several expeditions during which they were visited over 800 children. In addition to congenital clubfoot we were 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, they selected 400 children who underwent surgery and for 45 cases of congenital clubfoot inveterate, was carried out a research study in collaboration between the Eritrean professionals 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 maintaining what we built through an important economic effort.
An item which is well kept is an item that can easily perform its functions. Whether it is a property, an electrical system or an equipment, through maintenance,  it can still meet the needs of users, guaranteeing quality and safety. Furthermore, maintenance can improve the performance of the goods, it can reduce management or operating costs, it can contain energy consumption and, in general, the overall maintenance costs if it is performed by qualified personnel in due time. The healthcare sector, and hospitals in particular, 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 doctors are 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.