A first SOLIMED operation was conducted in 2012, with Albert Royer children's hospital, part of the Fann university hospital in Dakar, Senegal. An on-site audit completed with help from AXA Senegal and an AXA Assistance doctor revealed an acute need for paediatric medical equipment. Indeed, Albert Royer is the only reference paediatric hospital in Senegal, a country where half the population is under 16, making this shortage all the more critical. In particular, the audit highlighted the hospital's limited capacity, exacerbated by a shortage in beds and bedroom furniture, and an urgent need for paediatric intensive care and resuscitation equipment.
SOLIMED's response was made possible by a donation from the Paris hospitals authority (AP-HP): over two years, some 150m3 of equipment –hospital beds, paediatric respirators, technical equipment and bedroom furniture– were collected by volunteers working with AXA Hearts in Action (an association of AXA Group employees who volunteer time to support social solidarity projects). AXA Assistance restored all the equipment in Paris, then shipped it to Dakar and Albert Royer hospital, working closely with AXA Senegal.
In 2015, AXA and Albert Royer hospital celebrated three years together by installing a third consignment of paediatric medical equipment; a further donation from AP-HP, an organisation that has supported SOLIMED from the outset. Once again, an AXA Assistance nurse was detailed to oversee installation of the equipment and ensure a smooth hand-over to the hospital's healthcare professionals.