Mauritania: Providing care where there is none

In Bouhdida, a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital, Nouakchott, an MSF team runs a primary health care clinic. In the southern region of Guidimakha, MSF operates a project aimed at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality - among the country's most pressing health problems. MSF staff provide basic obstetrical services for 30 percent of the region's pregnant women. In Saada, another poverty-stricken neighborhood of Nouakchott, MSF supports a supplementary feeding center to reduce malnutrition. The results of a study begun in the Guidimakha region at the end of 2002 prompted MSF to open a therapeutic feeding center in Selibaby, the region's chief city, in the middle of 2003. MSF is also intervening in small- and medium-scale emergencies. A team assisted the population of the Guidimakha region after heavy flooding in August 2003. It also supported the country's ministry of health during a measles vaccination campaign held in the same region. MSF is now reducing its activities in Mauritania and plans to hand over these projects to local authorities or local NGOs by the end of 2004. MSF has worked in Mauritania since 1994. INTERNATIONAL STAFF: 7 NATIONAL STAFF: 18