Senegal: The Cuomo Paediatric Heart Institute, Dakar

Programme Coordinator: Laura Davenel

La Chaîne de l’Espoir has been active in Africa for many years and has developed a strong relationship in Senegal with the cardiovascular unit’s medical and surgical team at Fann National Teaching Hospital in Dakar. Since 2013, Fann Hospital teams and La Chaîne de l’Espoir have been working on a project specifically to care for children with cardiovascular disease who represent a substantial public health issue for the entire continent.

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  • To increase the treatments offered in the field of cardiology and cardiac surgery to the children of Senegal and West Africa
  • To train health practitioners in paediatric cardiac surgery allowing the treatment of congenital heart defects or rheumatic heart disease


The Cuomo Paediatric Heart Institute in Dakar is the fruit of a collaboration between the Cuomo Foundation, which financed construction and equipment; La Chaîne de l’Espoir, which managed logistics and Fann Hospital with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the project’s local partners. In addition, other essential actors contributed to this project including Bambini Cardiopatici Nel Mundo (Italian independent non-profit), which took responsibility for the construction of a centre to accommodate children as well as training projects. 

On the 15th of June, the CUOMO Foundation, La Chaîne de l'Espoir et the Fann Hospital laid the first stone of the CUOMO Paediatric Heart Institute. It should open in 2017 and will welcome kids from all over Senegal whom were until then subjected to endless waiting lists with no hope of getting the adequate treatment.


Beginning in 2014, training occured as follows:

  • Medical missions at Fann Hospital engage with our partners’ teams, Bambini Cardiopatici Nel Mundo, University Medical Centre of Toulouse and Terre des Hommes Suisse (a Swiss non-profit)
  • Training courses led by Professor Mouhamadou N'Diaye and Professor Bara Diop have been launched for surgeons, doctors and paramedical personnel in diverse European establishments to complete the training programme of the Institute's team.

The Cuomo Paediatric Heart Institute’s objective is to have a complete and well trained team at its opening in 2017. For this transition phase, a team of European practitioners will accompany them during the first six months of activity. 


The Cuomo Paediatric Heart Institute, 10 hospital beds and 10 intensive care beds, will be equipped with up-to-date technical facilities including two operation rooms, a consultation unit and pre/post-operative accommodation for young patients accompanied by their families.

In addition, a Children’s House will be built to accommodate pre/post-operative patients and their families in order to offer them optimal comfortable conditions for their convalescence and to house the children free of charge. 

The Cuomo Paediatric Heart Institute is meant to act as a medical and surgical care and training centre. It must comply with international construction standards and specifications linked to the hospital environment.