Maternal mortality is on the rise in Ivory Coast
After independence from France in 1960, Ivory Coast became an economic powerhouse through the production of coffee and cocoa.
Ivory Coast’s first president, Felix Houphouet-Boigny ruled the country for 33 years.
During his rule, the country witnessed religious and ethnic harmony until his successor was replaced through the country’s first military coup in 1999.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first worked in Ivory Coast in 1990, responding to armed conflict.
MSF’s work in Ivory Coast: 2016
We continued to support maternal and child health in the Hambol region of Côte d’Ivoire.
The political and military crises of 2002-2010 have taken a severe toll on the Ivorian health system: according to the World Health Organization, it is one of the weakest in Africa, with only one medical doctor and five midwives per 10,000 people.
As the maternal mortality rate is very high, the Ministry of Health has made maternal healthcare one of its main priorities, offering it free of charge to all pregnant women.
However, budgetary restrictions, drug stockouts and a lack of trained health personnel, among other factors, continue to hamper access to quality medical services for women and young children.
In the Hambol Region, where the mortality ratio is estimated at 661 per 100,000 live births, according to an Epicentre Survey in 2015, MSF runs a project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
The team aims to improve the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies in this rural setting by supporting the Katiola referral hospital and three primary health centres in the region.
We support these facilities by providing additional personnel and medical supplies and by facilitating an efficient referral system for complicated deliveries, while implementing a training, coaching and supervision programme for the Ministry of Health staff.
Every month in 2016, an average of 350 deliveries were assisted in MSF-supported facilities, 55 newborns were admitted to the neonatal ward and 50 caesarean sections were performed at Katiola hospital.
Find out more in our International Activity Report