Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict

Ivory Coast: Latest MSF Updates

Our Work

This is an excerpt from MSF's 2014 International Activity Report:

This year Katiola Hospital’s maternity unit started providing care for complicated deliveries and ante- and neonatal emergencies.

Mother and pre- and antenatal care is a priority for the Ministry of Health in the Ivory Coast, as maternal mortality has been increasing since 2005. Women generally deliver their babies at home with traditional birth attendants and without effective emergency obstetric care when there are complications.

With the Ministry of Health, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a mother and child health program in Katiola Hospital in 2014. The 90-bed facility serves as the sole referral hospital for the whole region but until recently had very limited capacity to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care. Only women who could afford to be transported by ambulance were referred to the larger Bouaké Hospital to get the necessary medical assistance.

MSF renovated Katiola’s maternity unit and the two operating theaters, built a water supply and sewage network in the hospital, and organized training for midwives. As a result, emergency obstetric care and complicated deliveries are now being managed by MSF, and between July and December over 1,000 births, more than 100 of them requiring Caesarean sections, were assisted.

Ebola in Neighboring Countries

As a consequence of the Ebola outbreak, the borders with Liberia and Guinea were closed in August. No suspected cases were reported in 2014, but an MSF team visited the area bordering Liberia to assess the preparedness of local staff and the authorities, as well as community awareness. MSF collaborated with the health authorities to build an Ebola management center in Yopougon Hospital in Abidjan (the country’s largest city), as a contingency plan. MSF also supported the training of health staff and rapid investigation teams.


Ivorian Refugees in Liberia—A Certain Fear

At the end of 2014, MSF had 152 staff in Ivory Coast. MSF first worked in the country in 1990.

Patient Story

Charles*, 72 years old

“On Monday 28 March I was at home, because I am old and retired. Armed people came and took me to the big road.

"They laid me down on it, doused me with gasoline, and set me on fire. My foot and my clothes were burnt. Somebody took me to the hospital on his moped the next day.

“Then the rest of my family followed me here. Our home was destroyed, burned down. We don’t have anything left. The harvest has gone. Everything has been ransacked.

“I need to heal my foot. But when I get out of hospital where am I going to go and where am I going to put my family? I’m panicking just thinking about going back to my village.

"I don’t really care who the president is, whether it is Paul or Joe, I just want to be in peace.”

* The patient’s name has been changed.