“We often hear a song rising in the hospital corridors, initially we did not understand, but then we realized that they were the mothers outside the neonatal pathology ward. They sing to make themselves and give strength together. This is a beautiful image, which conveys a great message of resilience and how important the community is especially in the most difficult moments.

Living in the hospital allows you to get closer to people in their moments of greatest vulnerability and to witness the way they deal with pain and waiting. Singing, for example, is a collective activity that mothers use to gain strength, to convey a message of resilience during difficuThe mlties. Alessandra Gosetto and Matteo Arata are two JPOs in Gynecology and Obstetrics, arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in August, to take up service at PCMH, the reference hospital for maternal and child health in the country.

A new experience, the first time in Africa for both. “The initial visual impact was very strong, almost disorienting – they say. The hospital, although one of the largest in the country, is very different from the hospitals we are used to seeing in Europe. The resources here are limited, just think of the quantity of deliveries compared to the staff: from 10 to 25 per day, for a total of 8,000 deliveries per year with the medical staff dedicated to the Gynecology and Obstetrics department composed of 4 structured and some trainees who do 24 hour guards. In Padua, in a hospital that gives about 3,000 births a year, there are more than double the number of structures to manage the ward and the guards are 12 hours. Here we face various obstetric pathologies on a daily basis that are almost never seen in Italy and there is a high rate of obstetric complications “.

In Sierra Leone for now, Covid-19 is present in a limited way, positive patients are a minority of hospital admissions, but the reality is that the resources to screen the population are still lacking. Furthermore, the difficulty of accessing the hospital, even if only due to the costs of transport, risks enormously increasing the complications and dangers of childbirth.

Ensuring the health of mothers and children is a daily challenge that we have been trying to make concrete for 70 years in all our countries of intervention.


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