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Senegal: access to health care improved in Fogny region

21-05-2010 News Release 10/90

Ziguinchor (ICRC) – A new health centre, including a maternity ward, was inaugurated today in the village of Essome Silathiaye, in western Fogny, Casamance. In attendance were government, religious and traditional leaders, volunteers from the Senegalese Red Cross Society and delegations from neighbouring villages.

A midwife and a community heath-care worker will be based at the centre, which was built and equipped with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The centre will serve some 580 residents of Essome Silathiaye and 2,000 residents of the surrounding nine villages. It may also be used by people living just over the border in Gambia.

The health centre is a joint project undertaken by the ICRC, the Diouloulou health district, which will manage the medical staff, and Manos Unidas, a non-governmental organization that provided equipment and electricity to the maternity ward as part of its Karonghen programme.

In some parts of Casamance, basic health-care services do not meet national standards because of the precarious security situation that has long plagued this region. The ICRC supports access to primary health care for everyone at a reasonable cost to the communities concerned.

“Since completing our malaria-prevention project in this region in 2004, " explained Maurice Grundbacher, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Ziguinchor, " we have sought to improve access to the same type and quality of medical services that are available in the rest of the country.”

The ICRC’s mandate is to protect and assist the victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. The organization has been active in Casamance since 2004, where it focuses on delivering emergency assistance, repairing health facilities and water-supply systems, and providing support to veterinary assistants, women's groups seeki ng to revive market gardening and the Senegalese Red Cross Society in its community-based activities.

  For further information, please contact:
  Lamine Coly, ICRC Ziguinchor, tel: +221 77 512 03 47
  Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Dakar, tel: + 221 77 529 71 45