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The skin of Africa
Includes 10 images
Credit: Ana Palacios via Visura
Asset ID: VA39755
Caption: Available
Copyright: © Ana Palacios, 2023
Collection: Feature News Travel
Location: Benin
Topics: Documentary Feature Health/Healing Human Rights Illness News NGO Photography Travel

Ana Palacios

Based in Madrid

Ana Palacios is a journalist and a documentary photographer focused in telling underrepresented stories with impact shining a light on broken corners in collaboration with NGOs such as Manos Unidas , Africa Directo and UNICEF ....
Also by Ana Palacios —
Three-year old Ossou Delphine waits with her mother Alice in the maternity ward at Sedje Denou to have more treatment for the ulcer on her right arm.
Attingly Michael, aged seventeen, suffered burns on 80% of his body after tripping over a pan of boiling palm oil one night. He's recovering from one of the many skin tissue regenerating operations he'll have to undergo in one of the wards at Gbenmontin Hospital, in Zagnanado, along with the 29 other patients he shares his room with.
Cutting healthy tissue for grafting onto a skin lesion.

This surgical instrument is a skin graft mesher. It cuts skin for grafting, turning the epidermis into a mesh that enables a larger surface area to be covered during the operation. It produces "snakeskin effect" scars. The technique is manual and rudimentary and needs no electricity, which is crucial in rural african hospitals where the power supply is often unreliable.
Surgery to regenerate tissue in skin lesions after the stretching machine cuts flaps of skin, turning skin tissue into a mesh and enabling a larger area of lesions to be covered.
Freud Lokossou, aged eight, dressed up in a straw costume on new year's eve and another child set fire to him. He has been in Gbenmontin Hospital for seven months.
Physiotherapy room at Lalo Commune Health Centre.
Assogba Justin undergoes rehabilitation with a traction machine in the physiotherapy room at Lalo Commune Health Centre in Benin, which specialises in the treatment of skin diseases.
Freud Lokossou goes to class every day. The average hospital stay for patients with skin diseases is thirty days. The classroom in Gbenmontin Hospital caters for child inpatients of all ages so they don't miss out on their schooling.
Charleen does her homework in the Gbemontin Hospital schoolroom, where she goes every day during her hospital stay. The classroom in Gbenmontin Hospital caters for child inpatients of all ages so they don't miss out on their schooling.
'The skin of Africa' documents the daily lives of people affected by skin injuries in hospitals in Benin.

Certain skin diseases, such as first-degree burns or buruli ulcers, require an average hospital stay of 30 days. A patient may remain in hospital for up to a year to achieve full recovery and reintegration into society.

Because of the shortage of health personnel, hospitals in Benin require patients to be accompanied by at least one family member for the duration of their hospital stay so that they can take care of their food, hygiene and basic needs.

These very particular circumstances make the hospital a microcosm for skin patients.

Differentiated areas are established for the different activities of the day: from the school, to the kitchens, washing rooms or bedrooms and even recreation areas. Areas that are integrated into the hospital grounds with the operating rooms, rehabilitation rooms or emergency rooms.

A mosaic in which spaces are shared for the harmonious coexistence of hundreds of patients, families and doctors.

A project supported by DKV Seguros and Anesvad Foundation.