On January 31, 2020, the Dermatology Service was inaugurated at Dr. Ayres de Menezes Hospital, in the city of São Tomé, under the Health for All – Towards Sustainability project.
The foundations for the creation of this service began to be thought up in July 2018 during the Lusophone Dermatology Week which brought together Angolan, Mozambican and Portuguese dermatologists in São Tomé and Príncipe, who carried out consultations, treatments, surgeries and a scientific meeting. “The first purpose is the sharing of knowledge between dermatologists from these countries by handing over the European experience to colleagues from Africa and handing over what is the African experience to colleagues from Portugal,” said Dr. Miguel Correia, head of this specialty’s mission to Sao Tome and Principe. He added. “On the other hand, we intend to establish a starting point for continued assistance in Dermatology in Sao Tome and Principe, which does not exist. We will see patients and the facilities available and we will think about a project to ensure the maintenance of our specialty in this country. We will also, all together, find a way to cooperate for the development of our specialty in the different geographies, making Portugal the European reference in tropical dermatology and making Angola and Mozambique more competent in dermatology with the benefit that Portuguese dermatologists can bring. São Tomé and Príncipe is a starting point and an end point. It is our starting point and it is here that we intend to establish the excellence of dermatology in cooperation among all of us”.
The inauguration of the Dermatology Service at the Hospital Dr. Ayres de Menezes was attended by the Executive Director of IMVF, Dr. Ahmed Zaky, the Administrator of José de Mello Saúde, Dr. Salvador de Mello, Ambassador Luís Gaspar da Silva, Ambassador of Portugal in São Tomé, Dr. Salvador de Mello, Dr. Ahmed Zaky, and the Director of José de Mello Saúde. Edgar Neves, Minister of Health of São Tomé and Príncipe, Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, President of Camões, I.P, the representative of the Hungarian Ambassador to São Tomé and Príncipe and Dr. Pedro Andrade, dermatologist on mission and representing Dr. Miguel Correia, President of the Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology (SPDV).
After the solemn moment when Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos and Minister Edgar Neves cut the ribbon together at the entrance of the new premises, dermatologist Pedro Andrade made some statements. “With our own equipment and physical space, I think we have all the conditions to guarantee the San Tomean population regular, specific care, with appropriate techniques, and that, in some way, can guarantee the quality of health care”.
Then, during the visit to the premises, Dr. Ahmed Zaky had the opportunity to express his satisfaction, since the new facilities “are a very significant step towards improving the health care of the country” and the result of a long journey of sharing and confluence “of good will”, among which the very relevant contribution of Camões, I.P. stands out.
The representative of the Hungarian Ambassador in São Tomé highlighted the contribution made to the building of this new Dermatology Service and magnified the good results of this first partnership, showing himself available for future agreements. Still in the diplomatic sphere, Ambassador Luís Gaspar da Silva reaffirmed the importance of this new space for the universe of Dr. Ayres de Menezes Hospital.
The Dermatology Service was conceived within the scope of the Health for All – Towards Sustainability project implemented by IMVF, the Marquês de Valle Flôr Association (AMVF) and the São Tomé and Príncipe Ministry of Health. It is co-financed by Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua I.P. and the Portuguese General Directorate of Health, in close partnership with SPDV and Dermatology of Angola and Mozambique.