Mali has just made a quantum leap in health. Indeed, the country has just achieved its first open-heart operation on a 6-year-old girl. So far, the patients, who were to benefit from this operation, were evacuated abroad.
Thanks to the association The Chain of Hope, the country has inaugurated the first operating theater of cardiovascular surgery. It was in July 2018 that the project was set up in Bamako. Thus, the facility was built, and the equipment made available. The whole cost in the 2 million euros, more than 1.2 billion CFA francs.
On September 10, the first open-heart operation was performed on a 6-year-old girl named Fanta. Reaching a malformation of the heart, the intervention lasted three rounds of the clock. To achieve this, a team of eight people was mobilized including a French surgeon and two Malians.
According to Professor Olivier Baron, from the Nantes Hospital Center, “from them children yesterday and two children today” have been operated on from the heart. “The first open-heart operation is indeed more symbolic, but what is very pleasing is that the second was done by our Malian colleagues, Dr. Brehim Coulibaly assisted by Dr. Ibrahima Diarra, with a Malian instrumentalist. And that was the challenge, to show that the structure that was built, we made it work. “
By the end of the year, Mali hopes to operate more than 50 children because there are several cherubs waiting. In total, there are more than 2,500 who suffer from heart defects.
“Professor Diarra […] works with humanitarian associations to bring them dropper in metropolis, but it is a drop of water compared to needs,” adds Oliver Baron. There is no cardiac surgery in Bamako because it is expensive and it requires a high level of technicality. So the idea quickly came to him to transfer training and establish hospitals in developing countries, and to provide training. Recently, there was Dakar and today it is Bamako. “
For his part, the surgeon Baba Diarra remains optimistic.
“There is a handful that is selected each year that will be operated in Europe, but unfortunately there is a good part who stays on the spot and who does not have access to care. So the opening of this center is a bargain. For the parents, it is a great relief because many of them thought that their child was doomed. It gives hope to all those parents. “
In 2 to 3 years, the association hopes to train a large number of surgeons and caregivers to be autonomous.
Photo credit: RFI