Located approximately 60 km south of Tambacounda on the road to Kedougou, the Wassadou Medical Center is a multi-building facility with fifteen beds for patients as well as overnight facilities for their families; several examination and operating rooms; a maternity ward; and a dental care unit. It serves a region of approximately 20,000 people and is staffed by one full-time doctor, Dr. Mamadou Ndiaye, one full-time midwife, Léonard Padiou Mingou, and a number of nurses and administrators. The center has an x-ray machine, as well the equipment to perform basic laboratory and blood work, although more complicated medical tests must be sent to the hospital in Tambacounda. Costs for medical care run from 1000 fcfa, or $1.65, for a consultation, to 2500 fcfa, or $4.20, for a birthing procedure.
The center was originally a project of French NGO Le Kinkeliba, which founded it in 2006, and was constructed with the financial support of the Pierre Fabre Foundation as well as Le Korsa, which was at that time known as American Friends of Le Kinkeliba. After the center’s construction, Le Kinkeliba maintained sole responsibility for Wassadou.
At its peak, Wassadou served upwards of 10,000 patients per year. However, in 2011 Le Kinkeliba was no longer able to fully support it financially, and as a result, its level of care dropped, and so did its patient visits. A crucial medical center in the region was suddenly lacking, and the population it served found themselves having to travel all the way to Tambacounda for comparable, or sometimes worse, medical care.
In 2014, Wassadou was officially taken over by French NGO Première Urgence, who now run the center’s day-to-day operations. Their staff has worked tirelessly to restore Wassadou to its full capacity, and in 2015 the center served approximately 8000 patients.
In 2016, Le Korsa partnered with Première Urgence to continue the restoration of Wassadou, and offered a grant of $35,000 to re-instate staff salaries to their pre-2014 levels. We will be working closely with Première Urgence to develop a long-term sustainability plan.