How MSF is fighting COVID-19 in Ivory Coast
In January, Ivory Coast authorized the use of several vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca). A vaccination campaign was launched in early March with a target of 500,000 people to be vaccinated in Abidjan, where more than 95 percent of the country’s COVID-19 cases are recorded. MSF restarted our telemedicine project in partnership with a local nongovernmental organization to support this program. Based in a testing center in Abidjan, our team is now helping the diagnosis of illnesses that could lead to complications with the COVID-19 vaccines.
Supporting local health authorities to take over our activities in Katiola was the key focus for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Ivory Coast in 2019.
The Ivorian health system is slowly recovering from the political and military crisis that overwhelmed the country from 2002 to 2010. Due to the high rate of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, the Ministry of Health has made maternal health care a priority, offering it free of charge to all pregnant women. However, budget restrictions, drug stockouts, and a lack of trained staff mean that access to good quality services for women and their newborns is not always guaranteed. Learn how you can best help in Ivory Coast and other countries.
For five years, we supported the ministry in rural areas of Hambol region in central Ivory Coast, working in the maternity unit, neonatology ward and operating theater at Katiola referral hospital. In 2019, we admitted 700 newborns for care and strengthened the referral system for obstetric and neonatal emergencies. We also supported Dabakala and Niakara hospitals and six health centers.
In order to reduce perinatal transmission of hepatitis B, we collaborated with the Ministry of Health to introduce systematic vaccination immediately after birth in all MSF-supported facilities in the area. A total of 3,150 newborns were vaccinated against hepatitis B in 2019. Please donate to support our work in Ivory Coast and other countries around the world now.
In view of the relatively low levels of activity, decreasing numbers of obstetric complications and limited prospects for development, we made the decision to progressively hand over all our activities in the country to the local health authorities. We stopped our support to health centers in April, to the maternity unit in June, and to the operating theater and neonatology wards at the end of the year.