Mauritania: Second clinic serves women and children

In Selibaby, the capital of Guidimaka, it is estimated that less than 17% of women can get the health care they need. Many pregnant women die of infections and hemorrhages, and infant mortality in the region is 18 per 1,000 live births. A new MSF pilot project strives to provide much-needed care to women and babies, and as part of that initiative, a clinic was opened in mid-2002. Supported by an MSF midwife, public doctors, nurses and midwives are working to improve care for mothers and children, prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases, and provide community education on reproductive health. MSF continues to support a health center in the shantytown of Bouhdida, on the outskirts of Nouakchott. This project targets women and children and serves approximately 10,000 people. About 500 consultations are given each month. Since the clinic's opening in 2001, over 200 babies have been born there. After surveys showed that the rate of acute malnutrition declined significantly in the capital, MSF planned to close a nutritional program in Saada, another Nouakchott neighborhood, by late 2002. Preventive nutritional activities in Bouhdida were reinforced. MSF has been in Mauritania since 1994. International staff: 6 National staff: 12