April 13, 2023
Doctors of the World warns of the humanitarian needs of thousands of migrants abandoned in the desert in Assamaka (Niger)
This has mainly been caused by armed militias in northern regions such as Gao that the government finds difficult to control. As a result of the country’s instability, access to healthcare has been severely disrupted, especially in more rural areas. More than 85% of the country’s population lives over 5 kilometers away from the nearest health facility. In hard to reach communities this has led to a rise in the prevalence of severe malaria and other common diseases that would be otherwise easily prevented.
Our team is currently managing projects in 31 health centers in the towns of Gao and Ménaka, serving over 110,000 people. At our health centers, we focus on providing healthcare for pregnant mothers and children while screening for and preventing malnutrition. We also provided consultations for non-communicable diseases as well as infectious diseases.
Due to a lack of significant health infrastructure, standard medical procedures in Mali often become increasingly risky. Childbirth in particular is a dangerous process, with high mortality rates for both mothers and newborns.
In response, our teams conduct pre and post natal consultations, and provide training to midwives. Without the help of our dedicated team on the ground in Ménaka and Gao, thousands of mothers and newborns would be without access to basic healthcare. In 2021, 2,420 clean delivery kits were distributed to pregnant women and 9291 pregnant women received their first ANC consultation.
Northern Mali has also experienced multiple food crises in the last 10 years. Close to 20 million people across multiple countries in the region are believed to have experienced food insecurity, leading to rising levels of malnutrition.
To respond to this issue, our teams have implemented malnutrition screening sessions for pregnant women and children at multiple health centers. When a patient is considered malnourished, they are immediately directed to a healthcare facility that can provide them with treatment. At some of the supported facilities, our team also provides monthly nutritional monitoring. In 2021, 90,741 children aged 6 to 59 months have received nutritional screening. Furthermore, Doctors of the World has worked with community health workers to launch workshops for mothers about Infant and Young Child Feeding, as well as Key Family Practices.