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Providing access to care for populations affected by the conflict in the Timbuktu region

Mali Diré GoundamMostly desert, the three northern regions of Mali are subject to food insecurity. In early 2012 poor harvests and a deterioration of grazing lands due to poor rainfall in 2011 put 1.8 million people in northern Mali at risk of food insecurity (source: 2011 Unicef SMART survey).

The armed conflict in northern Mali since January, 2012 has only added to this already worrying food and health situation.

When the conflict intensified in March, 2012, Alima was one of the few international NGOs remaining in the Timbuktu area. The highly volatile and unstable security situation in the area made deployment of humanitarian players very difficult.

Actually present in Timbuktu when armed groups attacked the city, Alima was able to provide emergency support to Timbuktu’s hospital, which had been rendered inoperative by the conflict. For a month Alima supported the hospital by treating war wounded and other persons presenting at the hospital by offering access and free care. Eventually the hospital staff and MSF were able to resume their activities.

Because of the poor health situation of the people living in the Timbuktu region, Alima opened a project in the Diré health district in April, 2012 to improve health and nutritional conditions for all those affected by the conflict.

The district is located along the Niger River 80 km south of Timbuktu. Diré is the most densely populated area in the Timbuktu area with 65 head per square kilometer compared to an average population density of just 1.9 head per sq. km in the entire region (Source: Statistic Yearbook of the Timbuktu Region, Unicef).

Because of this influx of patients, Alima and AMCP extended their project to the neighboring district of Goundam in October, 2012.

Through this project, Alima provides free health care to the people of Diré district. Mobile clinics and support of the working community health facilities make it possible to treat the most common pathologies among the most isolated populations (malaria, diarrheas, skin diseases and respiratory-tract infections, etc.).

Once restored to operational capacity, the two referral health centers can treat cases requiring hospital admission and deliveries and their related complications.

Given the food and nutritional insecurity in the districts, children under five are systematically screened for malnutrition. So as to prevent the health situation from deteriorating and to counter the high risk of epidemic outbreaks in the district, remedial vaccination campaigns are being organized.

By placing the emphasis on treating children and pregnant women, Alima hopes to reduce infant mortality while ensuring free health care to the entire population affected by the conflict in the Diré and Goundam health districts.


Our activities in figures

2013 forecasts

Treatment of over 4,000 severe acute malnutrition cases and 108,000 consultations.

Funded by Unicef and ECHO