Infos Togo Health / Symposium of Humanitarian Surgery in Rural Areas in Togo

The AIMES-AFRICA model shared with West African practitioners

Publié le mercredi 29 mars 2023, par Gabinho

For the past few days, the 63rd Scientific Congress of the West African College of Surgeons has been held in Lomé. On the sidelines of these meetings which bring together the cream of the practice of sub-regional surgery, the well-known OING AIMES-AFRICA which operates in the field, with a multitude of free surgical operations for the Togolese and African populations, organized a symposium which saw the participation of several practitioners from the West African sub-region, present for the occasion in the Togolese capital.

Alongside the theme of this congress, "Surgical education and training in West Africa", this symposium had as its central subject, "humanitarian surgery by health actors for the populations of sub-Saharan Africa", case of AIMES-AFRIQUE in rural areas in Togo. And the main objective of such a symposium is to discuss topics related to the specialties of the thousand surgeons present in Lomé and how to improve their surgical practice.

It was a question, according to the president of the NGO AIMES-AFRIQUE, Dr Michel Kodom, of "presenting the results of the work of our organization on the theme chosen together with the organizing committee, sharing the experience of Togo to see how these surgeons can be inspired by good practices from the results we have had in the field with scientifically proven results, to be able to replicate and extend the services of AIMES-AFRICA through other West African countries to give rural populations the opportunity to benefit from this humanitarian surgery which is certainly effective and especially when the surgical cases are well selected and all the logistics are met, we obtain very good results”.

In the implementation of these different operations, the results of which were highly appreciated by the participants in this symposium, the difficulties were not lacking. Explanations from Dr Kodom, "these difficulties are of a logistical nature, when you arrive in a locality, or prefecture (examples of Agou and Blitta), where, when we were leaving for forecasts of 200 patients to be operated on, we had to meet more than 500 patients who had surgical conditions. So, leaving to operate on 200 patients, you end up with 500 patients, 300 of whom cannot be operated on, we are a little embarrassed because for lack of logistical means, medicines, everything that allows these operations to take place. missing, so we leave leaving these patients who are still sick, who still have surgical conditions, it’s really difficult and I think it’s a big challenge for ourselves psychologically to see these patients who unfortunately cannot benefit from this right to health and who are obliged to stay in their locality. There are also certain pathologies which are very serious but curable, but given the humanitarian nature of our missions, namely four to five days of intervention, these pathologies cannot be taken care of in this context, therefore, they are patients that we identify and who are the subject of another program, called MGMC, the management of serious but curable illnesses. There are many of these cases that we leave that are not taken care of through the channel of medico-surgical missions”.

Presenter of the general report of the NGO AIMES-AFRIQUE since 2005, Dr Koffi Togbé, Surgeon, member of the NGO, indicated that it was a question of a small assessment made by way of study through the activities carried out until 2022. According to him, “the NGO had to operate on 28,903 patients during 106 field missions, the average age of patients is 34 years old. Which means that it is young people who are operated on most of the time. This means that we provide support for health, treatment of young people, and also, contribution to the development of countries in Africa... ". And he promises, “the more the NGO AIMES-AFRICA has support, the NGO will expand its activities. We want to wait for patients who are not yet affected and expand our activities in other countries.” Speaking of general surgery in rural areas as done on several occasions by the NGO in various localities of Togo, Dr Togbé indicated that "it is a surgery which is practicable in these areas, especially for essential affections, if we adopt rigorous principles. Make a careful selection of patients, avoid high-risk patients. This is important during these missions. And finally, compliance with patient safety protocols, in rural areas.”
Among other participants at the symposium, there is the Consultant Dr Seidou Bello, who came from Nigeria. The latter appreciated the work carried out by this NGO ; Work which, according to his explanations, intersects perfectly with what he also does with his structure at the national level in his country. He encouraged AIMES-AFRIQUE to continue in this momentum to support the treatment of Togolese and African patients. Dr. Bello did not rule out the idea of collaboration for the happiness of African populations. He also advised to also go in the direction of scientific research.

For information, the NGO AIMES-AFRIQUE, the first African organization engaged in humanitarian surgical action, in addition to general surgery, also deploys surgeons in the field in ophthalmology and stomatology who are also part of its specialties.