Americares has provided assistance to Central African Republic through a variety of partners since 2007. We have worked with partners to deliver medicine, medical supplies, and hygiene items to support critical health services for children, survivors of disaster and conflict, and others in need across the country.
Americares currently partners with Doctors with Africa CUAMM in CAR, supporting health services for children, particularly those in need of specialty or advanced care. In 2018, CUAMM was asked to support the Pediatric Hospital of Bangui – the only pediatric specialty hospital in the country – to enhance clinical care, training, and hospital administration practices. The Pediatric Hospital of Bangui provides a variety of specialty services, including orthopedics, cardiology, malnutrition services, and pediatric oncology, and reaches over 70,000 patients with free services each year. Americares medical Gift-in-Kind donations are used to support a variety of CUAMM’s clinical programs, as well as health education and awareness efforts.
Finally, Americares provides medicine and medical supplies to U.S.-licensed medical professionals traveling to Central African Republic on medical missions through our Medical Outreach Program.
Central African Republic was ranked 188 out of 189 counties on the UNDPs Human Development Index in 2019. Due to a widespread dearth of healthcare resources in the country, including medicines, medical supplies, equipment, trained staff, and health infrastructure, average health outcomes in the country are abysmal. Within this context, children and other vulnerable populations have especially poor average health outcomes. Of note, almost 40% of children under five suffer from moderate or severe stunting, due to malnutrition. In addition, 51% of one-year-olds are not immunized against measles, and over 120 per 1,000 children under five die.
Due in large part to intense conflict and insecurity forcing people from their homes, almost 670,000 people were registered as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Central African Republic in 2019. The health and wellbeing of this population is especially at risk, due to the low availability of shelter assistance, loss of property and assets, sparce availability of food and non-food items, and risk of violence – including sexual and gender-based violence.
NGOs are key providers of free healthcare services in this challenging setting, though chronic shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and funding remain as large hurdles for these NGOs. Significant humanitarian intervention is urgently needed to reduce morbidity and mortality.
*Health snapshot statistics from UNHCR, UNDP and WHO
Photos courtesy of Doctors with Africa