17/04/2012 - Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF) and Médecins Du Monde Belgique (MDM/B ) 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 - 18 since August 2010 - 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.
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.
Article by Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF-CICDA)