There was great feasting and joy in Cubal, central Angola, on 29 August last when DREAM inaugurated its new centre at the “Nossa Senhora da Paz” hospital run by the Teresian Sisters in collaboration with the Community of Sant’Egidio.
To highlight the importance of the event, the sisters decided to organize thanksgiving prayers in the early morning with all the hospital staff. Thus the doors of the building were opened to patients.
The agreement recently signed between the Teresian Congregation and the Community of Sant’Egidio has born its first fruit in Cubal.
The centre was finalized after two years of intense work, restructuring of buildings, formation of personnel, fund-raising and agreements reached with government authorities.
It is equipped with four rooms, earmarked for registration, clinical and medical examinations and administration of drugs, apart from a large waiting room that will be used for health education.
Annexed to the centre is a laboratory, already outfitted with haematology, bio-chemistry and cytofluorometry equipment.
Cubal is right in the heart of Angola, in Benguela province, a place that still bears the terrible scars of a civil war that came to an end only in 2001. What’s more, recent cholera further ravaged the area.
Angola is seeking to remedy the disasters wrought by the war by promoting important public works, financed by income from oil extraction, but public health services are only partially successful in tackling the AIDS epidemic that has started to break out in the country.
Although the hospital of Cubal is in rather a remote place of the country, it fills a significant role from this perspective, and not just for the circa 200,000 residents who live in the whereabouts.
The quality of its performance and the proper organization of its services have already earned it the reputation of one of the foremost AIDS treatment centres in Angola.