Adam lives in Akroussoulback, a village in the Bamingui-Bangoran Prefecture of the Central African Republic. This region in the north-east of the country is struggling to provide its population with essential services such as access to healthcare. The chronic crises affecting the country have severely weakened the health system, and the geographical isolation of the prefecture as well as a poor road network exacerbate the difficulties and limit access to the Ndélé District Hospital.
Thanks to the intervention of the NGO Première Urgence Internationale, supported by the Bêkou Fund, Adam's wife was able to be referred to the district hospital. When the health centre where she had gone was no longer able to provide the required care, her journey to Ndélé Hospital was taken care of by the NGO.
"At around 3am I accompanied my wife who was pregnant and had to give birth. When we arrived at the health centre my wife was directed to the delivery room because she was already in labour. As time went by, there were complications and she was unable to give birth. The officials thought it best to refer my wife because her case was beyond their capacity".
In this region, only the district hospital has the capacity to provide specialised care and a medical environment that guarantees better sanitation and comprehensive medical care.
The referral is strongly supported by the population as it improves their access to quality care. Adam believes that without this activity "serious health problems would persist in the village". Since the project began in 2018, more than 6,140 people have benefited from referrals.
Thanks to the project, Adam's wife's care and treatment was free. During the patients' hospitalisation, food rations are also provided.
Première Urgence Internationale supports 25 out of 28 medical structures in the Prefecture to ensure that health care is completely free. This is a strong argument to encourage the population, and in particular the most vulnerable, to go and see a doctor. This is even more necessary as the region is characterised by high rates of poverty and malnutrition.
This project is part of the Bêkou Fund, created by the European Union to address the humanitarian crisis that affected the Central African Republic in 2013. One of the priorities of the Fund has been to restore health services severely affected by the instability in the country. The action of the EU and its partners has focused on the supply of medicines and the training of health workers to ensure that the population has access to quality care.
Thanks to these measures, the Central African Republic is now better equipped to deal with maternal health and health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.