The president of the Camões institute, João Ribeiro de Almeida, said today that 2020 was “very important for Portuguese cooperation in Cape Verde”, with 27 support projects launched and underway, worth 2,3 million euros.
According to the official, who spoke to Lusa on the sidelines of the inauguration of the hemodialysis center at Hospital Baptista de Sousa, on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente, co-financed by Camões, only in its own actions, since the last year Portuguese cooperation has developed 24 projects bilateral.
João Ribeiro de Almeida specified that these projects immediately involved support for a “rapid response to the health emergency” program, within the scope of the covid-19 pandemic, in the rehabilitation of houses destroyed by the September floods in Praia, or completion, now, of the second hemodialysis center in the country, which will allow 40% of Cape Verdean patients to be treated, reducing the number of treatments in Portugal.
"Very specific things, but that made 2020 a very important year for Portuguese cooperation in Cape Verde", emphasized the president of Camões - Cooperation and Language Institute.
In addition to these 24 projects, Camões currently has delegated cooperation from the European Union to manage three other projects in Cape Verde, financed with community funds, according to the experience acquired.
"This is around 2,3 million euros with 24 bilateral programs and three delegated cooperation programs in 2020", he added.
Health, education, environment, good governance or sanitation and water are some of the areas involving these cooperation projects with Cape Verde.
According to information from the Government of Cape Verde, the new hemodialysis center at Hospital Baptista de Sousa, opened today by the Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, is the result of a partnership with Camões, “with the intention of avoiding” transportation “Of patients abroad”, for hemodialysis.
This is an investment of 210 million escudos (1,9 million euros), financed by the Cape Verdean Government and Camões (36%, around 680 thousand euros), with a treatment capacity of 19 standard posts and three specials, "with the possibility of dialysis, 35 patients in one shift".
The center will also count on the support of three specialist doctors and 15 nurses, and "will receive patients mainly from the Barlavento islands, whose estimate corresponds to 40% of the total number of hemodialysis patients in the country", underlined the Government.
For the president of Camões, the new center - which will also have technical support from Portugal - fulfills a “double mission”, since by “improving the supply of health care” in Cape Verde, in nephrology diseases in general, it will also reduce the need for medical evacuations, which had Portugal as the main destination, with “huge, financial and social costs, for Cape Verde”.
"But obviously Portugal will always continue with open arms to receive those cases that cannot be treated here", he emphasized.
In 2017, Portugal and Cape Verde had signed a protocol through which Portuguese cooperation would allocate 400 thousand euros for the construction of this center, but Cape Verde later requested a reinforcement of the budget, according to agreements signed by the governments of the two countries in 2019.
In Cape Verde there is a hemodialysis center, operating at Hospital Dr. Agostinho Neto, in Praia, also co-financed by Portuguese cooperation in a million euros. This center, which started operating in 2014, reached the breaking point in welcoming patients in 2018, treating 140 people who need to undergo hemodialysis.
At a time when the Portugal-Cape Verde Strategic Cooperation Program is ending, in 2021, João Ribeiro de Almeida guaranteed that the Camões institute is starting to define the priorities for the new support program.
"We are here with our soul and cooperation with Cape Verde to identify the priorities over the next five years", he concluded.