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In Senegal, Terre des hommes (Tdh) promotes access to tertiary care for paediatric cardiac surgery. Thanks to the opening of the Cuomo centre for paediatric cardiac surgery and hands-on training for the teams, more children can be operated on locally and increasingly complex congenital heart disease can be performed. Tdh has two main goals: to facilitate access to specialised care locally and to ensure the transfer of the most complex cases of children with heart disease to Europe.

Our projects in Senegal

Specialised care

We transfer seriously ill children to Europe for specialised surgery. Tdh is the European leader in medical evacuations and organises 40% of these. Back home, post-operative medical follow-up is provided and the children are supported in their reintegration into school. In collaboration with cardiology specialists from the CHUV in Lausanne, we organise surgical missions to Dakar. The aim of them is to consult, treat and operate on sick children in their country of origin, while strengthening the skills of local health personnel. La Chaîne de l'Espoir has set up a paediatric cardiac surgery centre within the Fann University Hospital in Dakar. This increases the number of children operated in their country. Theoretical and practical trainings are provided for the Master's course in paediatric cardiac surgery.

Oumar had a number of heart problems, which made surgery in Senegal risky. Following an operation in Switzerland, he is now in excellent health.

Oumar, was born with several heart defects


Terre des hommes in Senegal

Beneficiairies in 2020


462 people

Expatriate Staff / National Staff


4 / 5

Budget 2020


CHF 277'321




Where we work

Supported by


Start of the specialised care programme in Senegal.
The COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed medical services and transfers to Europe, leading to significant complications for patients who were unable to receive care.

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Related publications

Annual report 2021
Courage n°65: Mission: saving children's hearts
Specialised care programme - Annual Report 2017
Leaflet: Journey towards Life

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