As part of an emergency response to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian organisation Soleterre has implemented, with the contribution of the Italian Episcopal Conference, a strategy for regional action in West Africa both in the health and training fields.
This strategy consists firstly of providing the health structures present in these countries with protective devices for health personnel, which are essential for emergency management, and basic therapeutic tools to deal with the pandemic. This supply of personal protective equipment and clinical instruments is mainly for two hospitals:
– The Rabat paediatric hospital, which is part of the Ibn Sina hospital centre. A structure that treats more than 112,000 patients every year;
– The CHU of Treichville in Côte d’Ivoire, a national reference structure for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, particularly in the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Department, which treats around 105.000 patients each year.
The total amount of donations is around 30,000 euros for each hospital.
On the other hand, the strategy aims to technically train the socio-sanitary staff to deal with the emergency with a view to prevention around the pandemic and its effects, but also to raise awareness among citizens to stop the spread of the virus.
Finally, Soleterre has developed, in collaboration with the Rabat Ibn Sina hospital, the Abidjan Treichville hospital and the Yalgado hospital of Ouagadougou, an exchange course and online training in clinical psychology for French-speaking African doctors and psychologists since the beginning of the global health emergency due to the Covid pandemic.
This course and exchange of experiences, which will be available on the www.chop.ma platform, shares mainly Italian experiences, especially those of the team of psychologists of the Soleterre programme, active on the front line since the beginning of the pandemic in Italy and which has developed a scientific protocol for psychological treatments related to Covid-19 in collaboration with the crisis unit of the San Matteo Polyclinic in Pavia.
The intervention strategy and the didactics of the courses are discussed in periodic meetings via Zoom between Italian staff and staff from the three hospitals – including psychologists from the three countries involved and local staff from Soleterre – thus giving ample space also for the sharing of initiatives undertaken on the spot.
Soleterre has been operating since 2003 with a regional health program in West Africa. It is currently present in Morocco, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. In each country, Soleterre is active with local partnerships at the national institutional level (framework agreements with ministries) and civil society. In these three countries, Soleterre’s work teams (more than 35 operators) are made up of local staff.
Flagship activities of the health programme include medical and psychological assistance, care for sick children and their families (in particular children with serious non-communicable diseases such as cancer) and the urgent supply of medicines and other medical devices, in addition to on-site and distance training for health workers.
For more informations: https://www.soleterremaroc.org