The Spanish anesthesiologist who impressed Queen Letizia during her visit to Mauritania


The Queen has visited the University of Nouakchott to strengthen cooperation with the African country. There he meets a Spanish anesthetist, who trains young Mauritanians to improve their health.

Doa Letizia in Nouakchot. To her left, Marta BernardinoWorld
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for medical faculty injury It can be accessed through glass doors mounted in the walls six meters high. On each side of the door, holes as long as the wall, with a wrought iron lattice that replaced the glass, served as windows. Once one enters the entrance, one realizes that these openings serve as corridors so that air can circulate and living in the courtyard is not unbearable. He also considers the fact that the height of the walls serves to hold back the sand of the desert, as is what lies behind the door. nothing milesPlain and ton sand.

This Wednesday, hundreds of university students were waiting in a single file in the courtyard. Most, with their white coats. All are provided with the latest model of iPhone and are protected with sunglasses. between them, suddenly youa white woman And the Western outfit monopolized the prominence of the media. “I’ve been coming here for four years and I’ve never been asked so much about it,” he confessed, referring to his reason for living in Nouakchott.

es Marta BernardinoDirector of the Simulation Center of the Fundación Alcorcón University Hospital and a volunteer since 2019. And she identifies, with this scale of media interest level in her work, that Queen’s visit to Mauritania This is a great showcase to showcase the projects of Spanish cooperation in the country.

Living in Mauritania and Studying Career Until Medicine Shows They Really Want to

Bernardino is one of five doctors who have participated in a specialist training project at the University of Nouacchott since 2020. a place where medicine is concentrated primary care And hardly an expert, the Spanish Marta is in charge of Train the anesthesiologist of the future Mauritanos

It all started with the first reconnaissance trip in 2019. Since then, and with Covid in between, he has returned to Mauritania three times, where he already teaches courses to university students. Cooperation, as he admits with a smile, hooks.

Dr. Bernardino with some of the students and professors whom he has given
Dr. Bernardino with some of the students and professors he has taught over the past yearWorld

“For the best, they really appreciate and value our effort by coming here,” he says. “They also value that we are doctors just like them. In addition, there is a practical part of teaching the residents here that is very supportive of Spanish cooperation. That’s what we do at the mission, we focus on practical training Let’s focus.”

So, in the courses taught at Nouackshot University, Bernardino tutors students with a vocation to train them so that one day they will be the ones to teach the specialty to their peers. “Students have a great desire to learn, some very harsh working conditions and we try to adapt the training to their means”, he says. “Living in Mauritania and studying a career until medicine shows they are very keen”.

When he first entered college, he was surprised by the number women That was despite there being an Islamic republic. Although the university is accessible only to a privileged minority, about half of the people walking through the academic center’s courtyard were women attending its courses in mixed classes. “When I started coming here, I was surprised, There are many women who are going to be doctors and they are talented“, they say before clarifying: “There are men too, but especially women”.

spanish cooperation I contacted him five years ago with one clear objective: to help developing countries move toward universal health coverage. they had one 300,000 euro financing, with whom Marta and the rest of the doctors begin to work to equip the simulator with which they train future specialists. On the process of launching the project, he says, “We were looking for something versatile that is not the most expensive and will be used for many things. The most expensive simulators are very perishable and well worth it here. Not there.” Ultimately, they chose “an upper mid-range simulator”.

Thanks to this material, on the only four-day trip she has made this time – to accompany the Queen’s visit, Marta and her team have worked on an “immediate life support course supported by the Spanish Council of Resuscitation and the European Society for Resuscitation.” of the European Resuscitation Council”.

Once teachers and students are trained in this course, they practice what they have learned until Marta’s next visit. She, who admits that “it takes four years to train an anesthesiologist” has a clear goal: “Every year we will choose the best to become a trainer”. And so, gradually, the visits of this Spanish aid worker expand more and more and Mauritania can Autonomous in the training of anesthesiologists, When this project ends, Marta hopes to continue to collaborate in other places and have other Spanish doctors join these campaigns, which can be found on the medical association’s website.

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