In the autumn of 2008, AAII entered into a strategic partnership with Children’s Chance for the purpose of obtaining free medical care for African children in need of treatment that is not available in their countries. Thus far, we have been able to obtain commitments for free medical care and covered hospital expenses for three patients from Senegal. The first was from the Yale University Hand and Comprehensive Microsurgery Center in New Haven, Connecticut to provide multiple surgeries to correct congental bilateral hand deformities. The next was from the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York to operate on a boy diagnosed with Frontal Nasal Encephalocele. The most recent is from Pediatric Specialty Care/Orthopedics of the Shriners Hospitals for Children to perform surgery on a girl with bilateral upper extremity deformities.
As the opportunity for medical care in the United States became known, requests for care for children from numerous African nations began to arrive, making it clear that AAII would have to expand its efforts to develop relationships with medical facilities and physicians willing to provide pro bono services. At the same time, other human and financial resources would have to be developed in order to meet the need.
AAII is working to expand its roster of physicans and medical institutions throughout the United States to provide free medical care to African children who would not otherwise have a chance for a normal life. At the same time, we are developing alliances with other organizations to support this vital work. In addtion to financial support to cover the cost of air fare and visa applications for the child and an accompanying parent, AAII is working to develop a network of host organizations and families to house the children and their parents during their stay in the U.S.