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Health

Providing vital health services in northern Mali

Since 2012, political instability, a coup and subsequent conflict in northern Mali has forced over 200,000 people to flee the safety of their homes. For many of those living within the northern states of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, conditions became unbearable as many of the the basic services, infrastructure and water supplies were destroyed. 130,000 of those displaced sought safety within Mali, putting strain on already overburdened resources, while others fled across the borders to Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

 

Many health facilities in northern Mali were greatly impacted by conflict, and now struggle to meet the needs of the displaced and local populations without the support of aid organisations like the IRC.

In addition to health care challenges, the rural population also faces food insecurity due to their dependence on subsistence farming and livestock herding. As over 80 percent of the rural population of Mali rely on these two sources for their income, unpredictable weather and natural disasters, including drought, locust infestations, floods and environmental degradation, have led to numerous food security and health challenges for these populations in recent years, leaving many vulnerable to malnutrition.

 

Brahima explains to parents how to use nutritional supplements, which are provided by the IRC to children at risk of, or facing, malnutrition.

Brahima explains to parents how to use nutritional supplements, which are provided by the IRC to children at risk of, or facing, malnutrition.

Pregnant women and children under the age of 5 are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. To combat this, the IRC supports many health workers across the district, including Community Officer Brahima Diamouténé, pictured here undertaking a malnutrition test at the community health centre.

Fatoumata Kinta, an obstetrician nurse, pictured here, is a volunteer at the health centre. She is one of many health workers that are supported by the IRC, enabling her to provide free health care to the local community.

Supported by the European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department, or ECHO, the IRC is working in Menaka Health District to provide both the displaced and host populations with medical and nutritional assistance, including running mobile health clinics and working in partnership within local health centres.

Read more about the IRC’s work in Mali.