A political crisis has divided
Fear of being caught in the cross-fire, insecurity and a major food crisis have driven more than 300,000 Malians to flee the country for neighboring nations. “Many are terrified and ready to leave everything behind to escape violence,” says Marie-Christine Férir, MSF emergency coordinator.
The refugees, coming mostly from
Providing basic healthcare
In order to respond to the needs of vulnerable people, MSF is supporting health centres in
Water, a rare and precious commodity
Refugees do not have sufficient access to potable water. This is especially the case in the desert areas of
Treating and preventing malnutrition
The refugees depend solely on humanitarian aid for essential supplies like food. Still, there is not enough milk nor appropriate food for mothers to feed their children. "Rice can relieve hunger but can not replace the nutrients children need. Elements such as proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals are essential for the growth and development of a child." says Férir. In
Protecting children from measles is another health priority in the camps where MSF is working. In these places, where people live in disorder and children suffer from chronic malnutrition, a measles epidemic could be devastating. MSF has vaccinated more than 10,000 children since March with the support of the health authorities. Cholera cases have been documented in Namarigoungou and Bonfeba in
The vulnerability of the refugees’ situation and the coming rainy season will increase the risk of epidemics like malaria and cholera. On top of that, the “hunger gap” that begins in the month of July always sees an increase in malnutrition cases. The refugees will have to face the double burden of malnutrition and malaria.
In the Sikasso region of Mali, MSF teams are also running pædiatric and nutrition activities in five health centres and the Koutiala hospital. In addition to curative activities, MSF is working on the prevention of major childhood diseases. In the north, MSF is working in a Timbuktu hospital and provides care in villages in the Timbuktu, Kidal and Mopti regions.