Central African Republic: Promoting healthy motherhood

  • International staff: 8
  • National staff: 11 Alarmed by the high maternal mortality rate in the Central African Republic (948 deaths for every 100,000 mothers), in May 1999 MSF began work in three maternity wards in the capital, Bangui. In addition to constructing and rehabilitating maternity wards and operating rooms, MSF has worked to educate the population on institutional prenatal care, deliveries and postnatal care, train health workers and improve the performance of the local health management committee. MSF has also donated medicine, equipment and ambulances. The three maternity wards together see about 850 deliveries a month. MSF has also responded to a growing refugee crisis in the country. Fleeing civil war in their own country, two separate waves of several thousand refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo fled to the CAR. In early 1999, and again from July 1999 onward, MSF provided health care at the Port Amont refugee camp. Teams provided drinkable water, constructed latrines and carried out a vaccination campaign. The refugees were repatriated in October 1999. Meningitis was reported in northern CAR in February 2000. Working with Ministry of Health staff, MSF teams administered vaccinations and treatment in three of the country's five health regions through May 2000. MSF has been working in the Central African Republic since 1997.