From 29 August to 2 September 2016 Rotary Club Udine Patriarcato undertook a mission to Chiulo, Angola, to visit the hospital that the organization has been providing support to in recent years. It is thanks to this project – which involved not just Rotary Club Udine Patriarcato but also Rotary Distretto 2060, Rotary Club Graz Burg, Rotary Club Codroipo-Villa Manin, Rotary Club Udine, Rotary Club Luanda and Rotary Foundation, with Doctors with Africa CUAMM acting as implementing partner – that Chiulo Hospital was able to acquire both critical delivery room equipment and training for its medical staff.
The project wrapped up at the end of September 2016. Today, it is possible to carry out Caesarean sections in the hospital’s delivery room, and the hospital has become a focal point for the network of health clinics located in the surrounding area.
Last August Giovanni Del Frate, Luca de Pauli and Silvio Demitri (Rotary Club Udine Patriarcato) and Vicent Jose Francis Viciscos (Rotary Luanda), accompanied by CUAMM’s representative in Angola, Maria Sole Dall’Oro, visited the facilities that received this precious support from the Rotary Club network. Here are a few words from Giovanni Del Frate about that visit:
«Getting to the Chiulo Hospital – located in Angola’s Cunene province, an area shown on maps as a sort of vast empty space – means immersing yourself in a place of unimaginable poverty. A place where people have to walk for hours on dusty paths in order to get to some type of health facility, where small children are examined for malnourishment and vaccinated under the leafless branches of a Baobab tree. Mothers emerge from the savannah, their babies bundled in colorful fabrics on their backs, after having walked for hours under the blazing-hot sun.
But this wasn’t Giovanni Del Frate’s first time visiting the facilities, and the satisfaction he feels this time is evident:
«Visiting the hospital four years on – now partially renovated, and with the equipment that we at Rotary Club provided all set up – was a deeply gratifying experience. Six children were delivered there on the day we visited, including three by C-section. It was very moving, especially when one of the women camping out at the Casa do espera, an area near the hospital where about 100 expectant mothers were waiting to deliver their babies, offered us a taste of the maize porridge she’d just cooked over an open fire: it was her dinner, as she waited to go into labor».
More than 1,100 assisted deliveries and 2,000 prenatal visits were provided at Chiulo Hospital in the course of 2015. Thanks to the support of the Rotary Clubs that participated in the project, the hospital has been able to greatly improve its capacity to meet the health care needs of local mother and children – an area where much work still needs to be done in other similarly isolated areas of Angola.