Five Years of Humanitarian Missions in São Tomé and Príncipe Cinco Anos de Missões Humanitárias em São Tomé e Príncipe

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Cristina Caroça
João Paço
  1. Otolaryngology Department, Nova Medical School/Faculty of Medical Sciences, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
  2. Otolaryngology Department, CUF Infante Santo Hospital, Lisboa, Portugal


INTRODUCTION: Since February 2011, a group of otolaryngologists from CUF Infante Santo Hospital, a private healthcare unit in Portugal, invited by a non-governmental organization to provide equipment and properly skilled professionals to help and treat otolaryngology diseases in São Tomé and Príncipe. These missions included surgical procedures, consultation and hearing evaluation.

METHODS: This work is a retrospective chart review of all otolaryngology cases performed during these missions since 2011 to 2016, and what we done during mission.

RESULTS: During these missions, we have found some common pathologies. Deafness is the most prevalent after which follows the lymphoid tissue of oropharynx pathology. On these 18 missions a total of 1057 otolaryngology assessments were conducted. The main surgery was oral cavity with adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy. The results of all audiological tests performed during these 18 missions, reveal an increase of sensorineural deafness.

DISCUSSION: These missions’ purpose is to allow healthcare access to all, to identify people with hearing and language problems and to adapt prosthetics, if possible, mainly for children and young adults.
We have witnessed a considerable improvement on the children to whom we have adapted prosthetics. Some of them return to school, have friends and became more social. As the result of this work, we conclude that all Humanitarian Missions must be adapted to each country’s needs as we have done over the past five years.

Keywords: Humanitarian Missions; Otolaryngology; Sensorineural Hearing Loss; São Tomé and Príncipe

Article Details

Caroça C, Paço J. Five Years of Humanitarian Missions in São Tomé and Príncipe: Cinco Anos de Missões Humanitárias em São Tomé e Príncipe. Gaz Med [Internet]. 2016 Jan. 1 [cited 2022 Aug. 17];3(1). Available from: