Mali: Planning for epidemics
20 October 1999
MSF also supplied the medical emergency stock in Bamako. MSF has rehabilitated the infectious disease wing of the Bamako hospital. In collaboration with the government, MSF is launching a media information campaign on meningitis. A pilot programme was launched in the Southwestern region of Kayes which has a population of 1.3 million inhabitants divided into seven health districts. Here, MSF focuses on preparation for epidemics on a local level. Activities include epidemiological surveillance, storing medical supplies and the distribution of information on infectious disease. In Koulikoro, to the north of Bamako, MSF combats debilitating eye conditions which can result in blindness. MSF provides support for training and supervising medical and paramedical staff in ophthalmological techniques. Training is provided in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as xeroma and trachoma. In order to raise awareness in the population, MSF organises dramatic representations in community centres which deal with subjects such as eye hygiene. MSF runs a primary health care programme in the southern region of Yanfolilia-Selingué which targets a population of 60,000. Since 1997, MSF has reorganised the local health centre and has created several community centres. The community now participates in the costs of health care. MSF targets a preventive and curative health care programme at the 78,000 inhabitants of Ansongo in Northern Mali. Since the Tuareg rebellion in the first half of the 1990s, the development of the health care sector has been slow. Seven dispensaries have been identified for medical support, and partial or total rehabilitation. Mobile teams have organised rounds of vaccination for a population which has not been vaccinated in years. MSF also organises information and education seminars. As the system of cost recovery which has been introduced in the southern regions is not viable in the north, MSF is studying other ways of helping the health service become self-sustaining.