SOLIDARITY/Established on the Prince’s 50th birthday in 2008, Monaco Collectif Humanitaire has allowed 340 children to be saved.
They are called Aminata, Wokana and Djénébou. They are three of the 340 children operated on and saved thanks to Monaco Collectif Humanitaire. In 2008, on the occasion of Prince Albert’s 50th birthday, 21 Monegasque associations joined together under this banner. A chain of solidarity with the initial objective of operating in Monaco on 50 children from developing countries, whose cardiac or orthopaedic disorders could not be treated in their countries. A victim of its own success, the Collective became permanent. “We operate on 30-40 children a year and on average 10 000 euro per child is needed for hospital costs and airline tickets. The advantage is there are no running costs. The doctors, like the host families, are all volunteers. The health facilities invoice only 50% of the hospitalisation costs. As for the communication initiatives, the Monegasque State funds them,” explains Candice Manuelo, the partnership manager who leads this organisation.
In terms of logistics, two NGOs are particularly active. The Monegasque Red Cross – which also provides the financial control – and Rencontres Africaines, manage the surgical reception of these children whose records have been sent by their doctor or local associations. “Initially we had to operate on only 50 children. We are continuing with donations that keep coming in (1), the funds are not yet exhausted and the cash position is self-sustaining,” Corinne Clerc, in charge of organisation and volunteer work at the Monegasque Red Cross, says with satisfaction. If “the children are then monitored when they return home after their operation”, the project has progressed. “Joint actions have been put in place. The opening of catheterisation centres is planned in some countries. In Mali, one should be opened in a few months. While cardiologists are trained at the cardio-thoracic centre. It is a large, well-woven canvas.”
The SHARE association, chaired by cardiologists Jean-François Robillon and François Bourlon, has in fact developed a partnership with Bamako women’s and children’s hospital, by installing a catheterisation unit there. This 258 square metre new building will be operational in 2019. “As well as cardiologists, also nursing staff, radiographers and anaesthetists need to be trained in catheterisation, a cutting-edge technology. It is a major investment to provide medical care on site. Construction of the centre is going to cost over one million euro,” Candice Manuelo says. 2018 will see MCH’s 10th anniversary, when it is hoped “to be able to finance operations in situ for needy families who would not be able to afford medical expenses”. A fine project that could mushroom, for the Prince’s 60th birthday.