Fann Hospital is a large hospital, with 341 beds and major outpatient services. It has some 100 doctors and 300 nurses on staff, and serves as one of the main treatment centers for the millions of people who reside in Dakar and patients coming from rural Senegal and neighboring countries.
Fann’s neurosurgery center has a pediatric unit that is unique in West Africa. Le Korsa’s primary contact, Dr. Seydou Badiane, the director of the neurosurgery department for the entire hospital, and a consultant to the Senegalese Minister of Health, consults on over 70 pediatric cases per month and specializes in childhood brain disorders. Le Korsa’s primary function at Fann is to help Dr. Badiane perform his remarkable work.
In 2011, we learned that the hospital was experiencing a dire shortage of drainage tubes and shunts vital for life-saving surgery for children with hydrocephalus. Dr. Badiane was forced to reuse shunts, sometimes on as many as a dozen occasions. Infections that would have been avoidable with new shunts were killing some of his patients. Le Korsa now provides new shunts four times per year, guaranteeing that these devices only have a single use, which is the standard of care in most of the rest of the world.
In 2012, Le Korsa funded the refurbishment of the pediatric ward of the hospital. The modernized ward now has new, functional beds and improved lighting and plumbing, making it vastly safer and cleaner than it was previously. And the hand-painted murals illustrating African folk tales, also paid for by us at Dr. Badiane’s request, brings incalculable joy to the children who are hospitalized.
In 2014, we partnered with Project C.U.R.E., a Denver-based non-profit organization that gives refurbished medical equipment from American hospitals to institutions in need of them in poorer countries, to deliver a shipping container to Fann that included over 260 items, ranging from splints and stethoscopes to the hospital’s first neurology tools sized specifically for the treatment of children.
As a part of an Ebola prevention effort, Le Korsa recently provided Fann hospital with gloves, disinfectant, protective suits, soap, and other related supplies.
Working directly with Dr. Badiane, we keep at a minimum the time between his having an urgent need for funds or supplies and the fulfillment of his request. When Dr. Badiane has a specific project, we do our best to support it; for example, we recently provided a grant to fund training in the technique of stereotaxy, which greatly increases Fann’s capacity to treat tumors and other medical conditions. We also give $6000 every three months to help cover care for patients who cannot otherwise afford it.