A professor of Medicine at the UAH, dedicated to humanitarian aid

Professor Antonio Martín Duce is the coordinator of the University Group for Development Cooperation that collaborates with the Kivuvu Association to build a maternal and child hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

– How did the project start?

– My life has always been related to collaboration. Since I was 14 years old, I have collaborated in humanitarian actions and I also have experience on the Continent because I was in Africa working, I even collaborated in the origins of Doctors Without Borders.

Nursing School El Congo
Students at the Congo School of Nursing

Through my parish, I learned about the initiative for the reconstruction of a school in the Congo which was being carried out by a congregation of missionary nuns of the Verbum Dei in collaboration with the Spanish-Congolese NGO Kivuvu. The school was in very poor condition and the children studied sitting on the wet ground, so we decided to raise money to rebuild the building. For this we organize a lottery sale, an art auction, a book sale, etc. In addition, we also offer sponsorship of children, for only 10 euros per month, to cover school fees.

The Congo College
Rebuilt college in the Congo

So, Thanks to different foundations and the collaboration of the University of Alcalá through its aid for volunteer projects, we were able to rebuild the school in which 22 native teachers work and 350 students attend up to the third year of secondary school. Also, in another center Vocational Training courses and Nursing studies are taught.

– And as for the sanitary part?

– The second part of the project is the construction of the first maternal and child hospital in Matari, in the Congo, the poorest country in the world and with a very high infant and maternal mortality rate. We have been working on the hospital project for 6 years, which will consist of 4 pavilions, one with consultation rooms, the laboratory and the pharmacy. The other pavilions will be used for the hospitalization of children and women with a total of 40 beds, and the fourth will house a delivery room, two operating rooms, a labor room and a recovery room. Congolese doctors and nurses from our own school will work in the hospital.

Regarding the hospital equipment, We are receiving some donation from hospitals and the University of Alcalá. We are currently providing the hospital with laboratory material, we have just acquired a microscope and we are waiting for the donation of a portable ultrasound machine.

Interior Maternal and Child Hospital
Volunteers unloading material

– What other activities do you plan to implement in the area?

– The congregation of nuns has also allocated a land for cultivation and the profit will be used to purchase new farming materials and seeds. Besides, I would like to achieve the creation of a small hydroelectric power station taking advantage of the energy generated by a nearby large waterfall. This would entail significant work, so we are seeking technical help. And it is that, it must be taken into account that the country has a difficult political organization.

– How can the university community collaborate in these initiatives?

I would like more students of health careers to collaborate with the project and, in general, any student because, at the University, apart from offering a didactic component, We must teach in values.

Likewise, through the website you can make sporadic donations, sponsoring a child or volunteering for the project. Also, on April 22 we will organize a solidarity paddle tennis tournament at the University to raise money for the construction of the hospital, where there will be the possibility of making a zero line donation.

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