|On the morning of 3 May, the inauguration of a new DREAM centre took place in Dschang, Cameroon, the first such centre in the country. The centre will be run by the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity in collaboration with the Community of Sant’Egidio.
Dschang is a city with nearly 100,000 residents, a significant hub in the province of Bafoussam, western Cameroon. Situated at an altitude of 1500 metres in a densely populated area, Dschang has been, since the beginning of the 1900s, a destination of many European missionaries, first German and later French. To this very day, there are quite a few religious congregations in the area.
|The Daughters of Charity arrived at the end of the sixties, first opening an orphanage and later a hospital (the one now actually hosting the DREAM centre), which has become the area’s leading medical institution, with departments of surgery, maternity and paediatrics.
The inauguration of the DREAM centre unfolded in the presence of the Bishop of Bafoussam, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health, and the local civil and health authorities, as well as many residents of Dschang. A substantial delegation from the Daughters of Charity was present, with members coming from the many provinces in the country.
|The bishop thanked the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Daughters of Charity for creating a centre of excellence for the treatment of AIDS and for vertical prevention. The centre will in fact take on the care of adults, pregnant women and children. It will be a reference centre for all of Cameroon, especially as regards vertical prevention, as emphasised by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health. Sr Wivine Kisu, General Councillor for Africa of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, who came for the opening from Paris, recalled the now long collaboration between the Congregation and Sant’Egidio in many African countries: Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This collaboration deals with both formation as well as management of the centres.
|The representatives of the Community, for their part, emphasized the fact that Africa needs centres like the one just inaugurated, centres offering new hope to so many people living with HIV.