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Tackling cholera in Chad

In Chad, people remember of 2011 as the year when Cholera has resurged affecting more than 7000 people across the country, most of whom were the poorest and most vulnerable. At that time, the epidemic had reached emergency levels and the government had implemented a task force on disasters and crisis to manage it with the support of DFID. But core to solving the crisis in the long term is educating people about safe sanitation practices.

Dr. Elie Fokzia, Regional Health Supervisor at the hospital in Tandjile, explained that it’s a problem caused by a lack of hygiene. “People here need to have access to clean areas and potable water, and latrines,” he stressed. “The contamination is very quick – even flies can carry the bacteria that causes cholera.”

Disease of “dirty hands”

In Chad, cholera is called the disease of dirty hands. In Chad, only 1 in 2 people have access to safe drinking water, and only 1 in 5 (20%) per cent have access to improved sanitation.

“Cholera is real,” said Amon Boubakary, a community volunteer for the NGO Initiative for Development, Research and Social Health Integration (IDRISS). “We must remain vigilant. Cholera is on our doorstep, so we are carrying out multiple preventive actions,” he explained.

« The strategies we use for the prevention of cholera in this county are mass awareness campaigns, educational discussions and treatment with bleach and chlorine of wells and water points. We train, support and follow the community volunteers in the neighbourhood of Walia and Ngueli, » explains Abel Chembe, IDRISS Coordinator.

Partnering for success

UNICEF is working to support communities where the cases have occurred, and is also providing supplies, such as soap, water disinfection tablets, and hygiene kits to help prevent the disease from spreading further. As part of the efforts, information kits have been also produced and disseminated to help communities to apply best hygiene practices such as washing hands with soap before dealing with food and after using latrines.

Since the resurgence of cholera in the neighboring countries, UNICEF, with financial support of DFID – UK Department for International Development, has collaborated with its partners, to carry out awareness and prevention campaigns in all the border towns of the country. Cholera is a contagious disease that spreads very quickly under low hygienic conditions.

Funded by DFID, this initiative is part of the project entitled “Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Countries,” which allows UNICEF and WFP to significantly expand their preparedness efforts and thus improve their response capacities. Additionally, the project promotes better cohesion and coordination of partner efforts in emergency response, as well as involving local communities.

Safe Pregnancies and healthy babies

By Badre Bahaji

“Here at the hospital, pregnant women are advised that they should get screened, and if the test comes back positive, we do everything we can to take care of them. They are followed throughout their pregnancy until delivery” Haoua Mamadou, 32, is in charge of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV unit at the Bol Hospital in the region of Lac and President of the association of people living with HIV. “HIV-positive women and their children are treated together before and after delivery. With the medication, the child has a good chance of being born healthy.”

“The day I learned I was infected, I was pregnant and had just lost my husband to AIDS. I was ready to give up and let myself die in my village,” said Hadjé Ali, 39, widow and mother of seven. “The doctor reassured me that HIV is a disease like any other, and I accepted the treatment at the beginning of my pregnancy. My child was born HIV negative, which was the most important thing to me. I didn’t want him to suffer like us.”

Hadjé regularly visits the Bol Hospital and has joined the association of people living with HIV. She often attends sensitization meetings to help other women going through the same situation. Today, she got back on her feet, she grinds peanuts and makes spaghetti with a mill she bought to support herself and her family.

« I’ve had four stillborn children and two abortions, and my seventh pregnancy was finally normal. During my previous pregnancies, I did not know that I was infected with HIV/AIDS. It was through prenatal consultations that I found out my serology. The doctors and nurses at the Bol Hospital monitored me throughout my pregnancy. They gave me medication and advice, and I was able to deliver under the right conditions. I was under treatment and I delivered two beautiful twins. Today, they are in excellent health.”

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is strengthening the national HIV response to expand prevention to comprehensive care for populations at high risk of HIV infection.

Between 2012 and 2015, 36 regional micro-plans for the 10 priority regions were developed. and substantial results have been observed. The proportion of pregnant women receiving ARVs increased from 12% in 2012 to 25% in 2014, 39% in 2015 and 57.15% by the end of 2016. Geographical coverage increased from 23% in 2013 to 52% in 2016 at the national level and 85% in the 10 targeted regions.

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« C’est la Vie ! » : Lancement officiel de la série télévisée au Tchad

1ère série africaine d’éducation par le divertissement bientôt sur les chaines télévisées tchadiennes grâce au Fonds Français Muskoka.

N’Djamena, 26 Avril 2017 – L’Ambassade de France au Tchad organise, le mercredi 26 avril à l’Institut français du Tchad, une cérémonie de remise de l’intégralité de la première saison de « C’est la Vie ! » (26 épisodes de 26 minutes) aux trois chaînes de télévision nationales : la Télé Tchad, Electron TV et Al Nassr TV, qui se sont engagées à diffuser la série sur leur antenne.

« Cette série, qui permet de communiquer de manière innovante, a pour objectif d’informer et de sensibiliser un très large public sur la santé en général et les violences de genre » a déclaré l’Ambassadeur de France au Tchad S.E.M. Philippe Lacoste. « Pendant 26 minutes, les téléspectateurs peuvent suivre le quotidien d’un centre de santé qui essaie de soigner les habitants mêlant à la fois des moments de joies mais aussi de malheurs. Le ton est humoristique, sans pour autant gommer les aspects dramatiques ».

Cette série a pour but de sensibiliser les jeunes et les adolescents aux bonnes pratiques en matière de santé. Plein d’humour et de conseils pratiques, le feuilleton traite également des réalités socio-culturelles qui ont une forte influence sur la santé maternelle, néonatale et infantile.

« Lancée en 2010 lors du sommet G8, l’initiative Muskoka est mise en œuvre à la fois via le canal bilatéral, géré par l’AFD, et le canal multilatéral, avec notamment le Fonds Français Muskoka mis en œuvre conjointement par l’UNICEF, l’OMS, l’UNFPA et ONU-Femmes dans 8 pays dont le Tchad » a rappelé l’Ambassadeur de France au Tchad S.E.M. Philippe Lacoste. Depuis 2012, la France a accordé 24.8 millions d’euros au Tchad pour lutter contre la mortalité maternelle et infantile.

En dépit de progrès significatifs au Tchad, les indicateurs de santé maternelle, néonatale et infantile demeurent inquiétants. Selon les résultats de l’enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples (EDS-MICS) de 2014-2015, le taux de mortalité maternelle est passé de 1099 décès pour 100 000 naissances vivantes en 2004 à 860 décès pour 100 000 naissances vivantes en 2014, le taux de mortalité infantile est passé de 102 pour 1000 naissances vivantes en 2004 à 72 décès pour 1000 naissances vivantes en 2014.

Pour plus d’informations ou pour des demandes d’entretien, veuillez contacter :

Sarah Mokri, Attachée de Coopération, Ambassade de France au Tchad : sarah.mokri@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Maria Fernandez, Chef de Communication, UNICEF, Tel: +235 66 36 00 42, mfernandez@unicef.org

Toussaint Mbaitoubam, Chargé de Communication, UNFPA, Tel: +235 66 27 50 33, mbaitoubam@unfpa.org

Jonas Naissem, Chargé de l’Information et Promotion de la Santé, OMS, +235 66 29 47 20, naissemj@who.int