Fifty Years on the Ground in Togo

The St John of God Hospital in Afagnan, Togo, was founded in 1964 by hospitaller brothers of the Lombardy-Venice Province and celebrates its' half-centenary this year. The jubilee year opened on 5th July 2013.  The Mass closing the jubilee was presided over by His Excellency Msgr Isaac GAGLO, Bishop of  Aneho ? the ecclesiastical district which the hospital belongs to, ? in the presence Msgr Philippe PODJRO Emeritus Archbishop of Lomé;  of Bro Pascal AHODEGNON, general counsellor representing Superior General   BroJésus ETAYO; of Boniface SAMBIENI, Vice Provincial of the St Richard Pampuri Vice Province in  Benin-Togo; of Bro Barthelemy KAMARA, Provincial Superior of the St Augustine, Africa, Province;  and of a large number of Brothers and Co-Workers from Togo, Benin and Ghana.

The first steps towards founding a hospital in what was then the Archdiocese of Lomé were taken in 1959 by Bro Moise BONARDI, then Provincial Superior of the Lombardy-Venice based in Milan, Italy,  through the intermediary of a Togolese priest, Father Gérard NYUIADZI,  who approached Msgr Joseph STREBLER, Bishop ofLomé, after securing the approval of the Government.  As a site for the hospital, the Bishop proposed the village of Afagnan, some 80 km from Lomé, capital of the Republic of Togo in West Africa. 

The first hospitaller missionaries from Milan, Bros Onorio TOSINI and Aquilino PUPPATO, reached the village on 4th April 1961 under the reign of Chief Augustin ADOLEHOUME V  of Afagnan. The first stone was blessed on 8th March 1962 by Msgr Joseph STREBLER in the presence of the first President of the Republic of Togo  His Excellency Sylvanus Olmpio.

The chapel was consecrated on 4th July 1964 by Msgr Casimir DOSSEH, Msgr STREBLER?'s successor,and the hospital was inaugurated the next day.  Although it only had 80 beds, it was described  as the most beautiful hospital on the west coast of Africa.

Today the hospital has 269 beds shared between the following services:  Medicine, Abdominal Surgery, Orthopaedics, Gynaecology-Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and a medical-surgical clinic. 


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