DAN and CHANGE together for Madagascar
Since 2009 DAN Europe has been supporting Change-Onlus, a notfor- profit association, in a construction project of a hospital with a hyperbaric centre in the remote island of Nosy Be. Private health structures are lacking on the island of Nosy Be though a few private medical studios do exist. This excludes most of the population who cannot afford it, from receiving the necessary specialistic medical care. In addition it causes huge logistic problems to unfortunate divers who may require specialistic medical care or the use of a hyperbaric chamber, as the closest one is on the island of Réunion. A health centre at Nosy Be would solve these problems. Change-Onlus has in fact proposed the construction, on the island, of a public, multi functional health centre, equipped with emergency care, infirmary, hyperbaric chamber for oxygen therapy, operating room and diagnostic room. Travellers and divers will at last be able to dive in the splendid Madagascar sea, and rely on adequate health assistance on the spot.
2009: The project starts!
DAN has promoted the meeting between Change Onlus and ATIP (Hyperbaric Technicians Association of the Padova Divers Club), which has generously donated a hyperbaric chamber and supported the adventurous transportation to Nosy Be. DAN then committed to providing a technical-logistic support, and trained the specialized medical personnel in order to guarantee the functioning of the future centre. The Madagascar Red Cross has granted concession of the land on which the centre will be built and this has already been entirely fenced. The attendant’s house has been built as well as the cement base for the chamber. At the present time the hyperbaric centre is covered by a straw roof!
JUNE 2010: Construction work at the Nosy Be health service centre continues!
The construction of the health service centre is advancing quickly (see pictures).
The ground floor pillars have been erected and by the end of June the ceiling slab will be cast.
The wall structure will be completed by the end of August and in September, when the materials arrive, the water and electric systems will be installed, followed by tile laying, bathroom installation and roof assembly in precast cement. The construction firm has approved and accepted the material samples for plumbing, electrical, plastering etc. imported from Italy. Electrical hook up is in its final stage with the installation of the electricity meter in the custodian’s house by next week.
Authorization has also been obtained from the Mayor and the administration of Nosy Be to hook up the water network to the aqueduct located in front of the dispensary near the Anglican church. The steady work progress has promoted credibility and reliability in the project. The island authorities are eager and willing to support us in the completion of the centre so that the local community may benefit as quickly as possible. Shortly, even the population living near the centre will have access to the water works, impossible until now!
The person in charge of building the dispensary agrees on the importance of completing the structural works quickly, by optimizing site equipment costs and utilizing the materials for interior and exterior which have already been salvaged and will be shipped before the start of the rainy season.
In view of the above, it is therefore likely, and certainly desirable, to establish a date for the completion of works, possibly by the second half of 2011.
With the support and collaboration of everyone involved this can happen!
DAN would like to thank all its members and the divers who have already contributed with a donation, as well as those who wish to continue supporting this worthwhile project.
How to help now
By uniting forces together we can allow the building of the health structure which will house the hyperbaric chamber. Send your contribution directly to www.change-onlus.org.Progress reports on the works at Nosy Be will be available to all divers.