On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, the First Lady ended her day with a visit to the Queen Fabiola University Children's Hospital (HUDERF) in Brussels, Avenue Jean Joseph Crocq15. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara was explained the functioning of this hospital created in 1986 to "respond to specific needs" and which remains the only Belgian university hospital entirely dedicated to pediatric care.
The Queen Fabiola University Children's Hospital has a capacity of 183 beds, receives 40 thousand patients per year, undertakes 215 thousand consultations per year, and has 1020 employees including 250 doctors.
The management team, Mrs. Anna Grosswasser, Deputy Director, Prof. Nicolas Deconnick, Medical Director and Prof. Véronique Delvenne, Head of the Child Psychiatry Department, all expressed interest in a possible collaboration with the children’s Hospital of Bingerville to exchange experiences. A partnership that First Lady Dominique Ouattara would like to see happening as soon as possible for an exchange of expertise and experience. "I have just visited the Queen Fabiola University Children's Hospital in Brussels. It is a hospital specially designed for children. It was a very interesting visit. I can see that the Children’s Hospital of Bingerville has several points in common with the Queen Fabiola University Hospital for Children. We have therefore decided to collaborate, to have a partnership agreement between our two hospitals. And I hope it will be done very soon," said Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire.
Mrs. Anna Groswasser, Deputy Director General of the Queen Fabiola Hospital also agreed. "It was a very interesting visit. We had the opportunity of discussing about how both hospitals operate. We also have the chance to talk about future partnership," said the Deputy Director General of the Queen Fabiola University Children's Hospital of Brussels.
For Professor Nicolas Deconinck, Medical Director of the hospital, the most important thing is the common challenges and objectives that the two hospitals share. "What is important is to see that we share common challenges, which is to give the child all the space he needs. The child is at the heart of the care we provide. This is the objective and the goal of a hospital for children. And I can see we share common objectives and achievements which make me very happy," he said.
This visit was also an opportunity for the First Lady to discover a new science that has emerged named child psychiatry. Indeed, Child Psychiatry is the branch of psychiatry that applies to children and adolescents. It is a more recent discipline. Professor Véronique Delvene, head of the Child Psychiatry Department, made a presentation of her scientific discipline to the guests. "Child psychiatry aims at improving the mental health of children and adolescents, but also their well-being, development and their integration into society. I don't do this alone. We are a multidisciplinary team which sees the intervention of other specialists. These are Psychologists, nurses, educators. Things can happen very quickly once the first care is operational. Very quickly the demand rises in terms of improving the well-being of children. It allows us to support those who are responsible for children’s development. It also helps us to identify children who are experiencing problems in their development such as language delay symptoms, somatic symptoms, pain, and physical symptoms. And then, it is also used by psychologists to help child patients. Child psychiatry can also be used to care for severely ill-children or their parents. The support to parents is very important", said Pr Véronique Delvene.
The working session ended with a visit to the in-patient and day care units.