Where We Work:
CHI, Inc. conducts its activities mainly in West Africa. Right now, our country of focus is Guinea; however, we plan to extend our activities to our African countries in the future.
The Republic of Guinea is located in West Africa. The capital is Conakry. Guinea has a population of 12.4 million and an area of 245,860 square kilometers (94,927 miles square). The country is divided into four climate zones: Basse Guinee, Moyenne Guinee, Haute Guinee, and Guinee Forestiere. It has 8 administrative regions with a subdivision of 33 prefectures and shares its borders with neighboring countries including Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
The administrative region of Kankan, where we implement our work, is one of the eight administrative regions of Guinea. Kankan is the largest city in Guinea in land area. In 2014, the population of Kankan was 193,830, making it the third-largest populated city.
The Healthcare System in Guinea
The healthcare system in Guinea is pyramidal and does not necessarily meets the needs of its population. It is composed of two national hospitals, both in the capital: Ignace Deen Hospital and Donka Hospital (the most prominent public hospital). In addition to these hospitals, there are:
- 3 community medical centers
- 7 regional hospitals
- 33 prefectural hospitals
- 358 health centers
- 298 village health posts
CHI’s work focuses primarily on heart disease because cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women globally. CVD is the most significant contributor to global mortality, accounting for nearly half of the 36 million yearly non-communicable disease deaths. The GBD of CDV is more prevalent in low and middle-income countries, where ¾ of fatalities occur. A heart attack has become a significant public health problem in Guinea. Most people suffering from it die, unfortunately, due to adequate infrastructure and training.
Additionally, the victims are not taken care of or do not receive any CPR or first aid in a timely and appropriate way (delay in care). In an emergency, people usually call physicians for instructions because they do not know what to do. There is no emergency medical system (EMS) to transport victims to the hospital. The options are to either call a taxi or drive the patient to the hospital if you have a car.
Many factors are associated with the increase of death related to CVD in Guinea. They include:
- Lack of access to primary healthcare (essential to detecting CVD in its preliminary stage).
- Society/culture does not address CVD, and actions for change are not realized.
- Delay in care: absence of EMS to transport victims to the hospital.
- Lack of infrastructure, equipment, or supplies
- Delivery of health care services at best at the highest levels (the two national hospitals and regional hospitals) and the health centers and village health posts are isolated.
- Lack of resources or collaboration.
- Lack qualified or well-trained staffing, equipment, and operating funds at health facilities.