EMERGENCY’s Paediatric Centre in Bangui, open 24 hours a day, offers health assistance and activities concentrating on the instruction of sanitary and hygiene education for children up to the age of 14 years. The Centre is located in front of the Parliament of the Central African Republic, in a compound made available by local authorities. EMERGENCY’s paediatricians and nurses provide free high quality outpatient services to children up to 14 years of age, while the most serious cases are admitted in the 8-bed inpatient ward. An antenatal care program also operates from the Centre; a midwife is available 5 days a week to visit pregnant women and give family planning counselling. More than 100 children come to our Paediatric Centre every day. The outpatient departments and wards are always full, as is the tent that was pitched in the hospital garden at the height of the conflict to provide extra beds.
Illnesses such as malaria, infections and typhoid fever were widespread even before the start of the war, but food shortages and harsher living conditions have made it even easier to fall ill, with the lack of safety convincing many mothers to put off the journey to the hospital as long as possible. Our staff have started working with a local organisation that runs small health centres, helping to train their staff in the treatment and transfer of emergency paediatric cases.
The Paediatric Centre of Bangui is a part of the Regional Program for Paediatrics and Cardiac Surgery that EMERGENCY is actively promoting in Africa. The program involves a network of facilities in which our international cardiologists carry out the screening of children and adult heart patients for the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery in Sudan and provide the needed postoperative treatment to those who have already undergone surgery.