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MSF in Ivory Coast, 2001
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Prison Work Continues in Turbulent Year
The year 2000 was an exceptional year in Ivory Coast. In October, on the eve of presidential elections, over a million people filled the streets of Abidjan to call for the removal of the leader of the 1999 military coup, General Gueï. Two days later, 200 people died in clashes in the capital. At the same time, increasing nationalism and xenophobia resulted in violence against foreigners, particularly those living in poorer districts.
In Abidjan's Largest Prison
Against this backdrop, MSF continued its work in the Abidjan Prison (MACA). Conditions and medical care in the prison have improved greatly since MSF began work there in 1998, with striking reductions in the mortality rate and improvements in sanitation and in medical care and follow-up.
A plan for the maintenance of the work carried out in the prison by MSF has now been drawn up, so that the detainees themselves, and the government, can gradually take over maintenance of the sanitation system. The year 2000 brought the introduction of regular consultations for female detainees. A review of the situation of minors in the prison revealed the grave abuses to which they are subjected.
MSF hopes to turn its attention to alternative solutions to imprisonment and social work programs that focus on family relationships.
MSF has been working in Ivory Coast since 1990.