IOM Chad launches project to mobilize the Chadian Diaspora
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement to facilitate the temporary return of highly qualified Chadian migrants from France. Through this 9-month initiative, IOM and UNDP are responding to an urgent call by the president of Chad himself to mobilize the Chadian diaspora abroad to support the socio-economic development efforts of Chad in the areas of health service provision and higher education.
With the funding support of 350,000 USD from UNDP, IOM is providing air fares, accommodation, ground transport and insurance for 15 participants of this pilot project. The health sector was identified as the main priority sector, as both rural and urban areas lack specialists and qualified primary healthcare professionals. Chadian authorities, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Plan and the noteworthy participation of GESST( Groupe d’Entraide à l’Enseignement Supérieur et à la Santé au Tchad) take the lead in identifying the existing needs and facilitating the placement of the registered candidates.
The first two Chadian medical doctors from France arrived in N’Djamena on February 17th, 2013. Dr. Abakar Mahamat Abakar, a gastroenterologist, and an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Mbaindidje, are the first of the diaspora in France to have voluntarily registered for the project: “It's been a long time since I left Chad. As a gastroenterologist, I have been nursing the idea of returning to Chad to serve my compatriots, but the lack of means was the main constraint for me to return home. Often, we Chadians abroad gather to share ideas, proposals and concerns regarding the condition of the health sector in Chad,” says Dr. Abakar.
“I'm glad to be back home and I hope I’ll be able to realize my dream of supporting the Public Administration Services (Health and Higher Education) by providing care to the Chadian public at hospitals and Universities", said Dr. Mbaindidje upon arrival at N'Djamena airport.
"My future expectations are to continue coming back to Chad with the GESST when I have free time so that patients and students can benefit from me. We also intend to further sensitize the Chadian authorities to support the initiatives of GESST in the near future,” added Dr. Abakar.
The arrival of the two experts is timely as there has been a chronic lack of orthopedic services in the country for a long time. Gastroenterology is a specialized field that is sought after due to the high frequency of both acute and chronic illnesses of the gastroenterological tract among the citizens of Chad.
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