archived on 2013/01/01

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The North Mali Emergency Project funded by ECHO

North Mali Emergency Project: “Mixed health” mobile service

Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF)1 and Médecins Du Monde Belgique (MDM/B)2 are working, through the « North Mali Emergency » Project funded by ECHO, with 6500 pastoral nomadic families located out of the zones currently covered by communitarian Health Centres (CSCom). This operation takes place in the Gao Region, in the North of Mali. Activities include health and nutrition care for children aged 0 to 5, pregnant and nursing women as well as women of childbearing potential, while also performing animal diseases prevention and veterinary care for sick animals.

As target populations’ means of support (pastoralists) are essentially based on livestock, simultaneously dealing with both human and animal health brings a global response to pastoralists’ preoccupations.

AVSF has been taking development actions in North Mali since 1984. MDM-B has been operating in the same region since 2001 with a program for access to Primary Health Cares and a particular focus on health issues for women and children.

ECHO’s funding in particular allows complementing current development actions, in order to face punctual crises.

The operation implemented by AVSF and MDM/B in pastoral zones is innovative as it aims to display “mixed health” mobile teams, each of them composed with a veterinarian, a doctor, a nurse and a guide, issuing from the beneficiary nomadic communities. The mobile team simultaneously provides human and animal health services: it gives access to health care for both nomadic populations and their livestock and improves health practices by raising awareness.

Since August 2010, 18 “mixed health” mobile teams are working in the Gao and Kidal regions (reduced to 5 mobile teams in the present phase). Operations are significantly improving health and nutrition conditions of pastoral families and allow safeguarding their core of breeding and productive animals during the crises periods.

This experience, very much appreciated by the population, should be integrated in health development programs for pastoral zones in the Sahel strip. It is quite promising and well adapted to realities of nomadic zones: difficult access, near absence of basic social services, wide-spread and mobile population.

However, the difficulties faced remain the funding of these consultation tours on the mid-term; and more recently, the increase of armed conflicts, which do not facilitate the movements of mobile teams.

The results reached during the current action with ECHO funding will allow creating a technical reference on health care for humans and animals by this type of system, which could be compared with results reached by fixed structures in the same context.

The tools produced will allow, for political decision-makers and partners, developing human and animal health access for transhumant populations, who evolve in a difficult environment.

Deworming a camel in North Mali

Vaccine administration to a nomadic child

Consultation in a tuareg camp

A group of breeding camel females

1 Contact AVSF in Mali:
2 Contact Médecins du Monde in Mali:
  • José Manuel Barroso

    President of the European Commission

    "I am convinced that this anniversary of ECHO@20 is only the beginning of many more years of international action and solidarity, and of a stronger EU in a challenging world, because what ECHO does is what Europe is ultimately about."

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    Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response

    "In 1992 the European Commission sent a clear message that we stand by people in their most dire moments of need. Today it still holds true."

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    Director-General, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)

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    European Humanitarian Aid Commissioner 1994 – 1999

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    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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    President of the International Committee of the Red Cross

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