The pandemic threatens vulnerable families.

Carlos Royo,
doctor in charge of Tdh’s specialised care programme

With nearly 40 years of experience working in the field, Carlos Royo carried out many missions to bring aid to the poorest, from his beginnings in a hospital in the bush until his position as doctor in charge of the specialised care department.

« An unusual life path»

With nearly 40 years of experience working in the field, Dr Carlos Royo is the doctor in charge of Terre des hommes’ specialised care programme. After many missions to bring aid to the poorest, his new mission will be unlike all those before it, and no less important. But preparing to retire does not scare him. Here’s a quick glance at his career.

It was in 1977, at the time of his very first mission as a graduate doctor, that Carlos Royo met and worked with the Tdh mid-wives in a hospital in the bush in Cameroon. He stayed there for two years, after which he was recruited by Terre des hommes, who were looking for a doctor to manage a health district in a mountainous region of Morocco. Hired by the Ministry of Public Health, he spent four years dedicated to the poorest among the people living in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. “Even today, it is rare to find Moroccan doctors willing to work in such a remote region,” he says.

At Tdh, he occupied the position of travelling delegate, then manager for the African region and organised the emergency aid administered after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Since 1993, he has been the consultant doctor for the Foundation and since 1997, he has been in charge of the specialised care department, which consists of 4 people and organises more than 250 transfers each year.

Today, his work consists of, on the one hand, developing partnerships with hospitals in Switzerland and in the field and on the other hand, studying the patient notes of seriously ill children. “We receive nearly 600 new requests each year!” he says. “On the basis of the examinations undertaken in situ, we distribute them between our partner university hospitals in Switzerland first and foremost, but also in Spain and France.”

He adds: “We ensure the monitoring of more than 900 former patients each year.” Upon their return, the children are regularly examined until adulthood and even beyond, where necessary. Tdh and the hospitals in which the child was operated on receive a copy of the report for possible comments and follow-up treatment. Sometimes, an adult who received care needs to be operated on several years later.