HRH Princess Lalla Asmae, First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire Launch Second Phase of “United, We Hear Each Other Better”

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae, President of Lalla Asmae Foundation, and the First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire and President of the Children of Africa Foundation, Her Excellency Dominique Ouattara, chaired, on October 4 at the Mother and Child Hospital in Abidjan, the launch ceremony of the second phase of the “United, We Hear Each Other Better”, which aims to restore the hearing of underprivileged African children.

This ceremony is the stepping stone for a significant partnership between Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation that goes beyond a simple collaboration, embodying a sincere promise to restore the gift of hearing to those who have been deprived of it. 

Upon their arrival at the Mother and Child Hospital in Abidjan, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and the First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire were greeted by Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, and Diaspora, Kandia Kamissoko Camara, Minister of Health, Public Hygiene, and Universal Health Coverage, Pierre Dimba, and Minister of Solidarity and the Fight against Poverty, Myss Belmonde Dogo, as well as Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Aït Taleb, and Minister of Solidarity, Social Inclusion and Family, Aawatif Hayar.

On this occasion, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and H.E. Dominique Ouattara visited the children who benefited from the cochlear implant operation, from Mali, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Burkina-Faso.

Her Royal Highness and Cote d’Ivoire’s First Lady also visited the operating theater, where the surgical microscope and micromotor donated by Lalla Asmae Foundation to the Children of Africa Foundation are installed.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae symbolically gifted Her Excellency Dominique Ouattara a prototype cochlear implant.

During the first phase of the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” operation, organized in October 2022, approximately 35 children from several West African countries traveled to Morocco to receive cochlear implants.

The commitment of Lalla Asmae Foundation to provide a hundred cochlear implants to the Children of Africa Foundation is at the heart of this campaign since these small medical devices will offer an abundance of opportunities for deaf children, enabling them to communicate, learn, and thrive.

Lalla Asmae Foundation is also committed to sharing essential knowledge and expertise by transferring surgical techniques between Moroccan and Ivorian professionals. A state-of-the-art operating theater will be equipped by the Foundation at the Mother and Child Hospital to guarantee the precision and quality of surgical interventions.

Intervening on this occasion, H.E. Dominique Ouattara stressed that this new collaboration between the two Foundations is a testament to “our shared commitment to improving the health of children.”

Renewing her sincere thanks and gratitude to HRH Princess Lalla Asmae for implementing this program, Ouattara expressed her deep appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty King Mohammed VI for His humanistic vision and the solidarity the Sovereign shows towards the children of Africa, as well as for His Majesty’s important contribution to the construction of the Mother and Child Hospital in Bingerville, which has been providing enormous services to the Ivorian population for the past five years.

For his part, Coordinator of Lalla Asmae Foundation, Karim Essakalli, underlined that Morocco, with its solid African roots and constant commitment to Africa’s progress, has always made South-South cooperation a strategic choice, supported by the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed the Sixth, and based on a global and balanced vision of the African continent’s development, adding that Lalla Asmae Foundation followed in the footsteps of this Royal Vision by launching the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” program.

Essakalli also highlighted the crucial importance of this program and the transformative power of hearing in people’s lives, noting that this collaboration transcends borders, covering different regions of Africa, from Cote d’Ivoire to Kenya, via Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Togo.

Speaking on this occasion, Minister Aït Taleb shed light on the fruitful collaboration between Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire in the field of Health, stressing that this solid cooperation is part of a sustainable approach, in favor of a common vision of HM King Mohammed VI and H.E. President Alassane Ouattara for the development and prosperity of the two countries.

The Moroccan minister also stated that his Ministry, under the aegis of Lalla Asmae Foundation, is ready and committed to consolidating and strengthening this cooperation in the field of health and sharing its expertise, particularly in neonatal screening for deafness, which is an essential tool for the early detection of deafness, stressing that this tool can contribute to improving children’s social and educational development, reducing their healthcare costs, and offering parents peace of mind.

For his part, the Ivorian Minister of Health stressed that this important operation will enable the care of hearing-impaired children, praising the laudable efforts made by HRH Princess Lalla Asmae to help this fringe of society.

“Thanks to the actions that will be carried out, we are convinced that by the end of this program, a solid partnership will be forged in this field”, emphasized the Ivorian minister, adding that this partnership is a great push for the Ivorian Ministry of Health in its quest to improve the quality of its services.

In a similar statement, Former International Director of Lions Clubs International and one of the program’s partners, Vincent Alexis Gomes, emphasized that the Lions of Africa commend HRH Princess Lalla Asmae for the different actions that Her Royal Highness carries out in the social field and her unwavering commitment to supporting hearing-impaired children.

The launch ceremony featured a scientific presentation on cochlear implantation by Head of the ENT department at Mohammed VI University Hospital in Marrakech and member of the scientific commission of the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” program, Prof. Abdelaziz Raji, in addition to a presentation of the program by the Coordinator of Lalla Asmae Foundation.

On the same occasion, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and H.E. Dominique Ouattara presided over the signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement between Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation, which was signed by the Director of Lalla Asmae Foundation, El Abbès Bouhlal, and National Director of the Children of Africa Foundation, Nadine Sangaré.

Towards the end of the ceremony, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and the First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire posed for a souvenir photo.

The partnership between Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation goes far beyond medical procedures and it embodies touching lives, creating smiles, and making dreams come true. Every child helped by this initiative is a living testament to the collective effort to build a more inclusive, caring, and better world.

HRH Princess Lalla Asmae brings a motivating vision to this “United, We Hear Each Better” operation, where commitment to the cause of children with severe or profound hearing loss is translated into concrete action.

An emblematic and dedicated figure in the promotion of children’s well-being, Her Royal Highness is also a source of inspiration to all those fighting for a better future for African children.

The First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, renowned for her leadership and unwavering commitment to the well-being of children, has always demonstrated determination to ensure that every child, Ivorian or of another nationality, can benefit from a clear hearing and the opportunities that go with it.

For over 25 years, Ouattara has been involved in the protection of vulnerable children through the Children of Africa Foundation, which has to its credit numerous charitable actions for the well-being of children in Cote d’Ivoire and 12 other African countries through its subsidiary Centers.

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