Mali: Intervention of Première Urgence Internationale’s mobile teams to help the most isolated populations

Première Urgence Internationale has been present in Gao region and more precisely in Ansongo circle located in the South-East (about 200 000 inhabitants) since 2014. The NGO’s mobile teams provide medical and nutritional assistance in hard-to-reach places and for the most vulnerable people.

Vaccination de routine par l’infirmier Première Urgence InternationaleI sur le site Tinahar mai 2020

Routine vaccination by Première Urgence Internationale’s nurse in Tinahar in May 2020

This region, close to Burkina Faso and Niger is the scene of assassinations and attacks by radical armed groups, clashes between these groups and national forces, as well as community and inter-community conflicts. As a result, many displacements of civilian populations are occurring place in this territory. According to the 2020 October report on population movements, 63,315 persons were internally displaced in Gao.

Despite this precarious security situation, the mobile teams of Première Urgence Internationale ensure a continuous presence and monitor the changing needs of the population.

Support of the mother and child

In Bara health center, Première Urgence Internationale’s midwife, Mariam Augustin, welcomes women in postnatal consultations. Some do not receive any medical assistance before, during and after childbirth due to the lack of health facilities near their villages. Postnatal pain may persist depending on the complications of childbirth and the possible infections that follow.

A mother’s health has significant impact on the health of her child. This is why Mariam Augustin, after providing the necessary care, is available to reassure the mother and make her aware that prenatal and postnatal consultations are essential.

In the course of her life, a Malian woman will have an average of six children. Child mortality is still very high in the country: out of 1,000 births 101 children die before reaching their fifth birthday.

medical and nutritional assistance in Mali

Post-natal consultation by Première Urgence Internationale’s midwife in Tahar (Bara) in May 2020

Free and quality vaccines and healthcare

In order to help nomadic populations or those living more than 15 kilometers from health centers and internally displaced persons, Première Urgence Internationale’s mobile team, made up of a doctor, a midwife, a nurse and a psychosocial agent, organized a free consultation campaign in May 2020 while providing essential medicines.

A total of 551 consultations and 29 family planning sessions were carried out. Children and pregnant women were also vaccinated (against tetanus among others) and screened for malnutrition.

Première Urgence Internationale believes that being vaccinated is a right for children and a duty for adults. As part of the strengthening of the district’s epidemiological surveillance and in partnership with the Ansongo Reference Health Center (CSREF), the NGO’s teams also organize vaccination and monitoring activities in the Bara health area to protect children and women against possible infections and pathologies such as yellow fever, measles, etc.

For better monitoring, a vaccination booklet is distributed per person after each first vaccination.

Raising awareness among communities

Automatic temperature check of patients attending curative consultations (respect of barrier gestures in the context of COVID-19) in May 2020

Automatic temperature check of patients attending curative consultations (respect of barrier gestures in the context of COVID-19) in May 2020

In addition to raising awareness about the importance of vaccination, prenatal and postnatal consultations, the team also draws attention on prevention measures against diarrhea and transmissible diseases as well as barrier gestures for COVID-19 prevention.

Regarding the pandemic, the treating doctor ensures that his team complies with the COVID-19 prevention measures, in particular the mandatory wearing of masks, social distancing, and the systematic use of infrared thermometers for taking temperatures.

Finally, prior to any healthcare delivery activity, community awareness sessions on the barrier gestures of COVID-19 are organized with the heads of fractions and sites so that they can continue to convey the message within the community and become actors in the fight against this pandemic.

Première Urgence Internationale’s intervention is characterized by its ability to intervene in the most remote areas, despite the security and geographical constraints of the region. The teams’ actions are accepted and valued by the local populations thanks to the transparency, neutrality and quality of the programs implemented.

All these activities were implemented thanks to the financial support of DG ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) and Luxembourg Aid & Development, via a project covering the health districts of Bandiagara in Mopti, Ansongo in Gao and the three health districts of the Kidal region.

Read more about our humanitarian mission in Mali.

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