Dakar : a paediatric cardiology centre for children

The Children’s Pavilion

60% of the work has already been completed so far! The construction of a mud-brick building has begun in front of the Cuomo Centre for Paediatric Cardiology.

The new structure designed to host 18 children should be ready to open for children from Senegal and the subregion before the summer of 2017.

We acknowledge the support of the Engie Foundation. 

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16/01/2017 - Start of operations at the CCPC

Operative activities started on monday 16 January at the New Cuomo Centre for Paediatric Cardiology (CCPC) of Dakar in Senegal.

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The consultation service of the Dakar Cuomo Centre for Paediatric Cardiology (CCPC) opened on Thursday 10 November

This new service managed to receive 55 children in consultation for cardiology exams (ultrasonography and electrocardiography) on the very first day. All these children were seen by Professor Ibrahima Bara DIOP, cardiac paediatrician at the Fann Hospital in Dakar.

The opening ceremony took place in the presence of Mrs Awa Marie Coll Seck, Health Minister, Mr Youssou N’Dour, Minister - Adviser to the President of the Republic of Senegal and representative of the CCPC support committee, and partners of the project : Mrs Elena Cuomo, Head of the Cuomo Foundation, Pr Alain Deloche, Founder of La Chaîne de l’Espoir and Mr Cheikh Tacko Diop, director of the Fann National Teaching Hospital.

The opening of the CCPC consultation service is the first step towards the start-up of surgical activities, expected for January 2017. 


While heart diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, West Africa still does not have any health centres specialised in paediatric cardiology. Furthermore, because heart surgery is so expensive, many children suffering from a heart condition cannot be treated.

For over 15 years, La Chaîne de l'Espoir has been organising and funding transfers of children with heart diseases who could not receive treatment in Senegal. 120 children have been brought to France and cared for in 10 years. The high cost of child transfer and logistical complications have brought La Chaîne de l’Espoir to arrange surgery missions in order to treat 7 times more children and train medical staff.

Cuomo Centre for paediatric cardiology (CCPC)

Several years of dedicated work have led to the project of a centre for paediatric cardiology.

La Chaîne de l’Espoir and the government of Senegal have decided to build the Cuomo Centre for Paediatric Cardiology (CCPC) in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. Construction started in June 2015 and was completed in September 2016 for the opening. It was funded by the Monaco-based Cuomo Foundation. Once opened, this centre will be able to host up to 500 children a year. It will also be a referral centre for the whole region, working in conjunction with medical facilities in neighbouring countries (Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, etc.).

In 2012, Senegal decided to adopt a new development model, the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) to accelerate its progress and become an emerging country. The CCPC fits perfectly into this vision and will provide West Africa with a paediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery centre compliant with international standards.

This centre will include a consultation unit, 2 operating theatres, 10 intensive care beds and 10 hospitalisation beds.

CCPC’s objectives are as follows :

  • Develop healthcare services in the areas of cardiology and cardiac surgery for Senegal and the whole of West Africa.
  • Provide technical equipment and transfer specific skills to local staff.
  • Create a Children’s House to welcome and accommodate children and their relatives before and after surgery. This facility will also offer health education programmes for mothers and social support if needed.

A Committee of Honour, chaired by Youssou N’Dour, has been put together to anchor this project within the Senegalese society and raise funds to provide financial support to the CCPC. World-known singer and engaged artist Youssou N’Dour has accepted to be a member of our Board of Directors and Ambassador for La Chaîne de l’Espoir’s actions in Africa.

Training Senegalese medical professionals

While the construction of the Cuomo Centre for Paediatric Cardiology is underway, the medical team, which will treat the centre’s patients, is already in training.

Training is provided on-site for part of the medical staff in Dakar within the Fann Teaching Hospital, by La Chaîne de l’Espoir’s medical and paramedical volunteers during short and long missions.

Training is also provided abroad – in France, Switzerland, Italy and Vietnam – through 6-month to 2-year medical training courses. Medical professionals gain further experience and are introduced to European standards in terms of healthcare quality and safety.

Last missions

Two heart surgery missions took place in Dakar :

  • Between 20 May and 27 May 2016, “Terre des Hommes” performed surgeries. A biomedical technician from La Chaîne de l’Espoir assisted the Senegalese team during the operations.
  • Between 12 June and 14 June 2016, Bambini Cardiopatici Nel Mondo, the Italian partner NGO of La Chaîne de l’Espoir, sent a medical team.