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Pour les retournés de RCA, la santé ne peut pas attendre

Par Davy Takendjilembaye

Hadje Mahamat, 13 ans est une jeune fille souriante et pleine de vie. Avec ses cheveux tirés en arrière et son style vestimentaire original, elle passe pour une fille de son âge menant une vie d’adolescente sans histoire.

Pourtant, Hadje n’arborait pas le même sourire en janvier 2014, lorsqu’elle est arrivée dans le sud du Tchad, en provenance de Centrafrique. « On vivait à Bossangoa en RCA et tout allait bien pour nous. Mon père travaillait et gagnait bien sa vie. Nous, on allait à l’école comme les autres enfants de notre âge. Là-bas, il n’y avait pas de soucis pour trouver à manger ni pour se soigner quand un membre de la famille tombait malade. »

Du jour au lendemain, Hadje et sa famille ont dû quitter leur foyer et leur vie paisible pour se réfugier au Tchad. Aujourd’hui, ils vivent dans le site de retournés de Danamadja, tout près de la petite ville de Goré. « En arrivant ici, nous avions froid, nous étions des milliers et même si on nous a bien accueilli, c’est un moment de ma vie que je n’oublierai jamais, » ajoute-elle.

Un centre de santé a été mis sur place sur le site, mais très vite, il a été dépassé par les évènements. Le centre éprouvait de grandes difficultés pour s’occuper des malades tant issus des retournés de RCA que des communautés hôtes. Hadje en a fait l’expérience : « A chaque fois que je tombais malade, j’attendais des heures au centre de santé. Les infirmiers faisaient leur consultation et me donner des ordonnances pour acheter des médicaments parce qu’ils n’en avaient plus. »

Mornodé Alafi est responsable du centre de santé du site de Danamadja, il a connu les débuts difficiles dont parle Hadje : « Le centre de santé manquait cruellement de ressources humaines, et matérielles. On était quasiment inactifs à cause du manque de médicaments pour s’occuper des patients. Maintenant, on arrive à faire face à la demande. » Benenoui Astride travaille aussi au centre de santé du site de Danamadja « Le centre reçoit une cinquantaine de malade par jour et grâce à l’appui reçu des partenaires, nous avons assez de médicaments en stock pour nous occuper des malades. »

Mornode Alafi
Mornode Alafi (droite) présente les services du centre de santé

Hadje, sourire aux lèvres, raconte : « Il y a dix jours de cela, j’ai eu le paludisme et quand mes parents m’ont amené au centre de santé, après la consultation, j’ai reçu normalement des soins et l’infirmière m’a remis des médicaments pour la maison. Depuis trois jours je me sens en forme déjà ! Il me tarde de retourner au collège. »

Grâce au soutien de l’Union Européenne, via l’Instrument de Stabilité et de Consolidation de la Paix, l’Unicef intervient dans plusieurs domaines pour améliorer les conditions de vie des retournés et des communautés hôtes dans les zones d’accueil du sud du Tchad. Ce partenariat clé pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie et la réintégration des populations a notamment permis de revitaliser de nombreux centres de santé à commencer par celui du site de Danamadja.

Des médicaments (y compris des ARV et des réactifs pour la prévention de la transmission du VIH/Sida de la mère à l’enfant), et d’autres intrants nutritionnels ont été fournis aux centres de santé. Un appui en personnel a également soulagé les districts concernés où 22 agents de santé et plus de 80 relais communautaires ont été formés dans les domaines de la santé, VIH/Sida et nutrition et déployés sur le terrain.

Grâce à un fonds de 7 millions d’euros, les membres de l’Equipe Pays des Nations Unies au Tchad que sont l’UNICEF, le HCR, l’OIM, la FAO et le PAM assistent plus de 80 000 retournés (dont 60% d’enfants) de Centrafrique et 320 000 personnes des communautés d’accueil. L’Instrument contribuant à la Stabilité et à la Paix (IcSP) est l’un des principaux outils de la politique étrangère de l’Union Européenne. Il permet de mettre l’accent sur la réaction aux crises, la préparation aux crises, la prévention des conflits et la consolidation de la paix.

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Publicités

In Chad, Nigerian refugees are healing their wounds.

By Badre Bahaji

Bagasola, CHAD, March 3, 2016 – « At dawn, my village was attacked. I was already 8-months pregnant but I had no choice, I had to run as fast I could, » explains Binta Mahamadou, a young mother of 6 children. “We were leaving in Baga on the shore of the Lake in Nigeria. We fled to Chad by boat, we left everything we had behind.

Binta, now lives in Dar es Salaam refugee camp, in the Lake Region of Chad, with her little twin babies Mahamadou and Khadija, who were born just a few weeks after she arrived safely in Chad. She gave birth in the hospital of Bagasola, a town located 15 kilometers from the camp.

“We are all survivors here”

« I had a surgery due to complications. The babies were in the breech position and I had to undergo an operation, I was very afraid of losing them. I did not even know that I was expecting twins. I stayed eight days in the hospital before coming back to the camp. Today, my two little babies are fine, healthy, I feel blessed as I see them growing every day. We are all survivors here” she says.

Like this courageous mother who fled the conflict in northeast Nigeria, thousands of refugees are struggling to heal their wounds and rebuild their lives. In Chad, close to 75,000 people have been displaced due to the violence in the Lake region and are now living in refugee and internal displaced camps.

UNICEF, with financial support of United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)[1], is supporting the health facilities and mobile clinics of the region with medicines supplies, including 27,000 vaccines, training and deployment of paramedics and community support for prevention of malnutrition

A relief for women and children

Located in the heart of Dar Es Salaam refugee camp, the UNICEF-supported health center is the busiest facility of the camp, hosting more than 5,000 refugees. Inside several tents, tied up side-by-side, health workers are running consultations, immunizations activities, malnutrition screening and consultation and care to patients.

“Since we’re here, we are all healthy. But most importantly, we are no longer afraid of being attacked in the middle of the night. My children sleep well and they can go to school without being frightened by the sounds of gunshots. It’s the first time they’re going to school, I told them that they are lucky because they will have a better life. They did not have that chance back in Nigeria”, she says.

In 2015, despite insecurity along the Lake Chad, UNICEF and its partners responded to the needs of the population affected by the conflict in northeast Nigeria, particularly in the Sahel belt and around the Lake.

Chad continues to face numerous humanitarian challenges in a context of growing vulnerability. Of the 3.9 million people affected by the different emergencies, an estimated 3.4 million will be food insecure in 2016 and 728,000 children under 5 years of age will suffer from acute malnutrition. In addition, Chad is host to the world’s seventh largest refugee population, with more than 378,000 refugees from the Central African Republic, Nigeria and the Sudan.

Between 2015 and 2016, UNICEF Chad received close to USD 3,000,000 from the United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support health care, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection interventions for refugees, internally displaced people, returnees and host population affected by the Nigerian crisis in the Lake Region of Chad.

Despite insecurity, UNICEF works with its partners to provide life-saving support to the most vulnerable children and women. This includes providing clean water and life-saving health services, restoring access to education by creating temporary learning spaces, delivering therapeutic treatment to malnourished children, distributing emergency supplies such as buckets, soap and water tanks, and ensuring that children benefits form psychosocial and recreational activities.

[1] USD 1,350,000 allocated for Health and Nutrition activities.

 

 

No woman should die while giving life

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.