Assistance and Information on Maternity and Child-care

Project location: Madagascar
Project start date: October 2003 - Project end date: October 2008
Project number: 2003-14
Beneficiary: Saint Damien Association

In Madagascar child mortality rates at birth are very high and illnesses that affect children in the early years of their lives and that cause malformations and serious illnesses are still very widespread. Many of these illnesses are connected to the disastrous hygiene-health conditions in which the people in the most isolated villages live.
The aim of the project is to create a mobile unit to assist and inform the population, that due to the lack of means of communication and transportation are isolated and prevented from social development, on matters of maternity and child care.

The Nando Peretti Foundation  created the mobile unit, based at the Saint Damien Medical and Surgical Centre, traveling around the 18 villages and towns (about 150,000 people) in the north of Madagascar and providing dissemination of good practices.

Radio Hafaliana will play an important role in the project by publicizing the unit's activity to the populations of the villages that the mobile centre will travel to (Radio Hafaliana, also founded by Dr. Father Stefano Scaringella, showed vital in year 2000 during the cholera epidemic that hit the country by giving out daily bulletins and instructions on the basic hygiene rules and on prevention of the illness).

The general aim of the project is to extend the Centre's range of action and to care for a greater number of patients. The Saint Damien Medical and Surgical Centre is today an extremely important reality for health and social assistance for the population of a vast area in the north of Madagascar. As we have shown in the previous paragraphs, a lot of effort and a great deal of sacrifice have gone into the centre from 1988 to date in order to develop a health structure that can provide basic health care in an area of the island that is especially lacking in every type of services and facilities. A real improvement in health service that the Centre offers now seems possible through decentralised work in the villages and smaller towns.




Considering the difficulty with which the patients arrive at the hospital and given the persisting mistrust towards western medicine (due to the lack of information and the social backwardness) it seems a good idea to develop work that will "take the hospital to the needy patients", in their villages, and to their homes.

Dr. Father Stefano Scaringella is the founder in 1988 of the Saint Damien Medical and Surgical Centre, an emergency medical centre for the North East of Madagascar that, due to a vital lack of infrastructures in the health sector of the region, soon turned into a true hospital structure serving a population of about 500,000.


The mobile unit comprises:

1 Off-road vehicle with a dual cabin

a generator

a field outpatients' surgery

a 7-member staff

            1 driver

            4 assistants

            2 obstetricians

-         general health care material

-         information sheets/material to be distributed to the user;

-         consumables (fuel, spare parts, tyres etc);

-     maintenance of the vehicle and equipment (off-road vehicle, generator);


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