By Badre Bahaji
N’Djamena – May 14, 2015. Ablamti Fanta, 29, sells clothes in the central market while her two older children of five and nine years old are in school. Her youngest daughter, Adora Halali, six months, comes to the market with her mother every day. Yet, on this sunny morning, they did not go to the market but to the Atrone health center to get vaccinated: « An aunt told me to come here when I got pregnant and I came for consultations until I gave birth. The center is great, women are welcoming and they are taking time to advise mothers who are very young sometimes. They have new equipment and they really respect hygiene here. »
Roselyne Tallot is managing this urban health center at the outskirts of N’Djamena: « The revitalization of the center was an excellent opportunity to renew our building, our equipment and materials. But more important, the new work environment has motivated my team and helps them to receive patients. For me, it is essential to be close to them. »
Simple solutions exist to fight maternal, neonatal and infant mortality. Yet, too many mothers and children are still dying in Chad. The French Fund Muskoka is financing access to quality health care and strengthening the health system in Chad. Hundreds of urban health centers were revitalized, equipped and their staff trained throughout the country.
Ablamti Fanta describes her pregnancy: « During antenatal care, I was afraid to be HIV positive and I thought the transmission of HIV/AIDS to the child was inevitable. Finally, the midwives convinced me to get tested and it was negative. Now I understand how it works! » She says proudly, before adding « some women do not believe vaccines work and neglect the health of their children. I know that if I respect the calendar of vaccinations, my child will be protected. »
In Chad, infant and maternal mortality rates remain among the highest in the world. According to the latest available statistics, maternal mortality rate is 1,084 deaths per 100,000 live births. Less than 20% of women are giving birth assisted by qualified healthcare personnel. Infant mortality is just as worrying, one in five children do not reach their fifth birthday.
Roselyne Tallot humbly describes the results of her center « every month, we assist one hundred and fifty births, more than seven hundred antenatal consultations and two hundred HIV/AIDS tests. The situation is harsh but my staff is fearless and together we are facing the daily challenges. »
« The delivery of my baby was quite difficult because she came with the feet first, but the nurses have reacted quickly. They called the ambulance to pick me up and I was transferred to the Mother and Child Hospital. Finally everything went well and my daughter is super healthy! » Concludes Ablamti, joyful.