The Grand Hospitaller, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, visited Ivory Coast for three days to sign a cooperation agreement with west African countries, where the Order of Malta has long been present, and to attend the consecration of a chapel in the Saint Jean-Baptiste hospital run by Ordre de Malte France.
On 19th September the Grand Hospitaller was received by the Ivorian Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibay in the capital Abidjan, where he stated that “the Order of Malta intends to strengthen its cooperation and presence in Ivory Coast,” a country with which it has enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1972. Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel signed an accord with the Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, Aka Aouélé, to “facilitate and expand the Order’s initiatives in the country,” including numerous clinics, and develop projects such as the Bodo hospital, with emphasis on training local staff. “A hospital is not only four walls,” the Grand Hospitaller said, “but also care and compassion.”
Accompanied by the president of the French Association, Thierry de Beaumont-Beynac, and by the ambassador to Ivory Coast, Arnaud de Martin de Viviès, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel then participated in the consecration of the chapel of the Saint Jean-Baptiste hospital, inaugurated in April 2015 in Bodo, north of Abidjan.
During the ceremony, attended also by members of the Ivorian government and the Order’s ambassadors to various African countries, the Grand Hospitaller said that the Order of Malta “always pays special attention to everything concerning human dignity,” in particular to the sick and the poor.
Today the hospital – whose construction was financed by Compagnie Fruitière – serves a catchment area of some 250 thousand people in the Agneby-Tiassa region, offering various services including general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, ophthalmology and gastroenterology. The facility also has various ambulances for the frequent accidents on the road to Abidjan.