"It all started in January 1991, with a phone call from a member of SACIM in Melbourne; would I consider starting a branch of SACIM in Perth? The objective: to arrange, for children from poor Mauritian families, surgical treatment not available in Mauritius. The children would be selected, and referred for treatment in Perth, by SACIM - the Society for Aid to Children inoperable in Mauritius.
The cause seemed a worthy one. A Founding Committee was formed, and, in August 1991, COMMSSA-SACIM (WA) Inc. was officially launched on its mission.
Renamed 'COMMSSA Western Australia Inc.' in 2019 , the 'Children of Mauritius Medical and Surgical Support Association' still pursues the charitable mission it embarked upon 30 years ago, a mission whose scope was broadened to enable us to assist disadvantaged Mauritian children in Mauritius as well as in Perth."
Dr Serge Toussaint.
Co-Founder and Medical Director
COMMSSA Western Australia Inc. (COMMSSA) is a Not-for-Profit Charity, based in Perth, Western Australia.
Our mission is to provide financial assistance for the medical and surgical treatment of disadvantaged children from Mauritius and Rodrigues, undergoing treatment in Perth, in Mauritius and sometimes elsewhere.
Since its foundation in 1991, COMMSSA has provided close to 80 episodes of care in Perth.
In conjunction with SACIM-Australia, the Association has also financed the treatment of some 30 children from poor families in private hospitals in Mauritius since 2016.
SACIM (The Society for Aid to Children Inoperable in Mauritius) was founded in Mauritius in 1968 to assist children suffering from surgical conditions inoperable in Mauritius. Since 1968 SACIM has sent nearly 750 children overseas for surgery.
Australia’s association with SACIM began in the 1970’s, the main treatment centres being in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. SACIM-Australia (previously SACIM-Victoria, founded in 1973) assumed its new name in 2007, when several SACIM associations in Australia amalgamated.
In the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, long before COMMSSA-SACIM (WA) Inc.'s foundation in 1991, approximately 15 children requiring cardiac surgery were sent to Royal Perth Hospital by SACIM in Mauritius. They were cared for by a number of Mauritian families in Perth. Subsequently, one of those families, the Euphémie family, was to play an important role as a hosting family to several children brought to Perth by COMMSSA.
Between 1991 and 2006, COMMSSA-SACIM(WA) Inc. sponsored some 30 children for surgical treatment in Western Australia.
In 2006 SACIM in Mauritius, proposed to cease its activities. To COMMSSA in Perth, and to SACIM in Melbourne, that was unacceptable; we knew that there would always be, in Mauritius, children from poor families unable to afford private treatment locally or overseas. We expressed our deep concern to SACIM and pledged our support from Australia. SACIM survived and is still active in Mauritius. Following a recent change in its constitution, SACIM, too, can now provide assistance for treatment of children in Mauritius.
In 2007, the Constitution of COMMSSA was modified enabling us to accept referrals, not only from SACIM in Mauritius, but also from other organisations and individuals. Since then we have provided financial assistance to disadvantaged Mauritian children in Perth, in private hospitals in Mauritius,
and, occasionally, for treatment in Réunion.
SACIM -Victoria and other branches of SACIM in Australia amalgamated in 2007 to become SACIM-Australia. COMMSSA-SACIM (WA) Inc., in Perth, chose to remain autonomous and changed its name to COMMSSA Western Australia Inc. in October 2019.
COMMSSA Western Australia Inc. works closely with, but is totally separate from SACIM in Mauritius and SACIM-Australia, in Melbourne.