FREE HEALTH CARE IN MALI TO SAVE LIVES
From June 2021 to July 2022, Première Urgence Internationale intervened in the regions of Gao (circle of Ansongo) and Mopti (circle of Bandiagara)
Curative consultation by the PUI mobile team, Goundaka health area (Bandiagara circle) | © Première Urgence Internationale
From June 2021 to July 2022, Première Urgence Internationale intervened in the regions of Gao (Ansongo circle) and Mopti (Bandiagara circle) by supporting the most vulnerable populations through improved access to free, quality medico-nutritional care and the strengthening of the primary health system. With vital and essential services compromised, children under five, pregnant and lactating women, and internally displaced persons remain the most vulnerable populations. They have been able to benefit from free health care through the intervention of Première Urgence Internationale. The project has directly benefited more than 65,000 people.
screening for malnutrition in young children
In Mali, the poverty situation is exacerbated by instability and insecurity. These lead to a significant loss of livelihoods in the center and north of the country. This situation only increases the pressure on the scarce resources of the population. The price of basic necessities has increased and it is no longer possible for people to have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their energy needs. As a result, the situation of chronic malnutrition remains high, especially among young children.
In Ansongo, more than 10,000 women are being trained in malnutrition screening and referral of malnourished cases to health centers. Thanks to them, the community relays and the Première Urgence Internationale teams, approximately 48,000 children under the age of 5 have been screened. Malnutrition cases are referred to health centers for free treatment.
“While I was pregnant, one of my children was detected as malnourished by the community outreach worker and was admitted to the health center’s nutritional program. My child Issa was treated free of charge for malnutrition and came out of the program cured,” says Hadiza, a 25-year-old mother of four.
Access to sexual and reproductive health for women of childbearing age
In Mali, women most often give birth at home without qualified health personnel. This practice increases the risk of mortality for women and newborns. Financial barriers are a particular obstacle to going to the health center. This is true for prenatal consultations, deliveries and post-natal consultations.
Thanks to the support of Première Urgence Internationale, pregnant and breastfeeding women have been able to benefit from free care at health centers and mobile clinics. Delivery kits motivate women to go to the health center to give birth.
Hadiza testifies: “I am an unemployed woman and my husband does not have a stable job. During my last pregnancy, I regularly went to the Ansongo health center. I benefited from free consultations and medicines, and I also gave birth at the health center in May 2022. At that time I received a delivery kit. This kit consists of three loincloths, a bucket, baby clothes, and pieces of soap. The delivery kit and the free care have been a great financial relief to my household.”
Emergency assistance to internally displaced populations
Through its 4 mobile clinics, Première Urgence Internationale has conducted emergency interventions. The goal is to respond to the primary needs of populations affected by shocks. Shocks such as massive population displacements or epidemics.
“My name is Jaouja, I am 30 years old and the mother of two children. I currently reside in Targada, an outlying neighborhood of Ansongo with my family. Due to the insecurity, several families left the village of Bangou to take refuge in Ansongo, including my family. My family was taken in by the neighborhood officials and moved into a home that was uninhabited. My 8-month-old child was suffering. A medical team from Première Urgence Internationale took him in with the other sick people. He received free medicine and care, and was completely cured.”
Some communities are leaving their villages more and more frequently for security reasons. Most often for an indefinite period, which increases their vulnerability.
“I don’t intend to go back to my village until there is peace,” says Jaouja.
This project is implemented thanks to the financial support of the Civil Protection and European Humanitarian Aid Operations