In less than a year, more than 1,100 children have been hospitalized in the new MSF project in Niafunke.

Since its inception in Niafounké in June 2021, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams, in collaboration with the district health authorities, have treated more than 1,100 children between the ages of 0 and 15 at the health center. More than 2,200 medical consultations were conducted by the health team in the Gourma area of ​​Timbuktu.

Free support

Pediatric services at Niafounké Hospital provide free care to sick children aged 0 to 15 years. All pediatric pathologies are treated for free: malaria, malnutrition, diarrhea, shortness of breath … Children who are sick and severely malnourished are also cared for in the Intensive Care Rehabilitation Unit (URNI) of the Department of Pediatrics and sick newborns are cared for. The neonatology unit of the hospital.

All in all, 1,152 children Was taken care of by our team, 514 were admitted to pediatrics, 350 were treated for malnutrition and 288 for malaria. Also, 501 blood transfusions were performed.

MSF Health Promotion Agent Hamadoun Cissé talks to a mother in the URENI ward of Niafounké Hospital in northern Mali about her child’s health. © Lamine Keita, March 10, 2022.

Preventive and curative methods

“As part of the Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM), we have provided permanent huts for the care of four nomadic camps in the Gaurama area of ​​Timbuktu,” explained Dr. Junaid Khan, Head of the Mission of Medicine Sans Frontieres in Mali. The aim is to provide the necessary therapeutic and preventive healthcare for those communities who have difficulty accessing care due to insecurity, distance and cost. In just four months, there have been more than 2,249 medical consultations, “he added.

Access to care is becoming increasingly difficult

According to Dr Junaid Khan, the project, launched in June 2021, will also respond to emergencies in the Timbuktu region, especially those related to epidemics, the arrival of the injured, displacement of population or nutrition crisis. Since the beginning of the crisis in 2012, and despite the peace agreement signed in 2015, stability in northern Mali has not fully returned.

“Unfortunately, insecurity has reduced the mobility of caring for patients and our medical team in certain areas,” explained Dr. Soleiman Sisse, Head of Pediatric Services at Niafank Hospital.

Patients are literally stuck

“It is very difficult to evacuate and direct our patients in this area. Many of our patients are stuck at home waiting to be evacuated. It is not possible to send an ambulance to pick them up due to insecurity. We are forced to confine them or even stop them. Movements to prevent, as has often been the case in the past, “lamented Dr. Cice.

“Currently, intensive care teams receive an average of 15 children per month who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and complications. This situation is due to insecurity which prevents farmers from reaping adequate harvests. The number of malnourished children is expected to rise in the coming months due to the disruption of population access to healthcare, rising prices of basic food items and shortage of some food products in the local market, ”he added.

“We are very happy since the opening of the health center”

MB came from a village near Niafunk. Today, she takes her sick child to the pediatric intensive care unit where the team at Medicines Sans Fronti কাজres works. “I was suffering from heart and gastric pain from birth and he did not recover from the first treatment in the village. His health deteriorated. But today he is much better: he has less pain in his stomach and his heart too.”

For Tinabur: W. She lives with her children in a nomadic property about 30 kilometers from Timbuktu. “Since the opening of the Médecins Sans Frontières health facility on the property, we have been very happy. That means we don’t have to go very far to get to the health center.

Our presence facilitates care access

The presence of government health workers as well as Médecins Sans Frontières helps to facilitate access to signs of hope and care. “When you think about the condition of the pediatric ward before their intervention, you realize how useful it was. Today, the change is noticeable in infrastructure, medical equipment and health workers. Significantly to improve the quality of pediatric care. Today, we hospitalize Take better care of the children, “said Dr. Cice.

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