In Bangui, Première Urgence Internationale enables women to give birth in safe conditions in health centers
The Central African Republic ranks second to last in the Human Development Index (HDI). The country has been plagued by cycles of political and military conflict for several decades, which have gradually driven the population into poverty. These chronic crises don’t allow the State to perform its regalian functions and to meet the needs of the Central African population, particularly in terms of access to quality health care.
© Gwenn Dubourthoumieu | Midwives are assisting a woman during childbirth in the maternity ward of a health center supported by the humanitarian aid NGO Première Urgence Internationale, in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
In this context, women are particularly vulnerable to the lack of access to and use of reproductive health services. For example, the country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates (death of women during childbirth) in the world1.
It’s within this framework that Première Urgence Internationale, in partnership with the French Red Cross and Action Against Hunger, has been supporting the government since 2018 through a project to strengthen the primary health system in Bangui, financed by the European Union Trust Fund “Bêkou”.
Strengthening the health system in Bangui
The country’s capital has been particularly affected by successive crises, which have greatly weakened the health system and the technical capacities of health sector actors. Première Urgence Internationale and its partners are supporting 14 health facilities (FOSA) through medical and nutritional assistance and capacity building for health personnel, in order to improve patient care. In terms of sexual and reproductive health, Première Urgence Internationale‘s health teams support the health care staff of the 8 health facilities they are in charge of during basic emergency gynecological and obstetrical care, which includes prenatal and postnatal consultations, family planning, as well as deliveries. Thanks to this project, pregnant or breastfeeding women benefit from free care.
Increase community outreach to local populations
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and the latest post-electoral crisis that took place at the end of 2020 and is continuing into 2021 have had a major impact on the national health system. The attempted attack on the capital on January 13, 2021, led to the establishment of a curfew at 6 pm, severely limiting women’s access to health facilities in the evening in order to give birth.
With the gradual return of the security context to normal, and in order to ensure the continued use of health services by patients, our teams have strengthened their community promotion activities with the local population. These activities are essential to raise awareness about the importance of prenatal consultations for the health of the baby and the women, so that they can have a regular follow-up of their pregnancy, but also about the risks related to childbirth and the importance of going to give birth in health centers.
Thanks to this community mobilization, and despite the security context, Première Urgence Internationale has recorded 6,042 prenatal consultations and 1,931 deliveries in the 8 supported health facilities since the beginning of the year 2021.
Première Urgence Internationale has been working in the Central African Republic since 2007.
By making a donation to Première Urgence Internationale, you allow the teams to continue their actions on site while implementing new projects to help vulnerable populations.
1 882/100,000 live births according to a WHO study, 2015.