Humanitarian Health Action

Donor centre archive 2007

  • Burundi
    The population has to face access constraints, with 80 to 90% of the patients running into debt or selling their belongings to pay for medical costs. Access to second level referral services still remains a serious problem. The capacity to carry out emergency surgical procedures is limited and the costs of a surgical intervention are prohibitive. Many hospitals do not have the personnel and/or equipment to respond to emergencies. In May 2006, the Government’s decision to provide free health care to children under five overstretched the capacity of the health care delivery system; WHO and its partners are working on a strategy to address this issue.
  • Central African Republic
    Until 2005, the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) was one of the world’s most neglected emergencies. International attention began to rise in 2006 when the security situation severely deteriorated in the North. Maternal and childhood health is still characterized by poor indicators: under-five mortality is 220 per 1000, while registered maternal mortality is one of the highest in Africa: 1355 deaths per 100 000 live births. The HIV/AIDS prevalence among pregnant women is estimated at about 15%. The immunization coverage remain below 50%. The displacement of 150 000 people has aggravated the situation.
  • Chad
    With regard to access to health care, refugee areas have benefited from health assistance provided by medical NGOs, coordinated by UNHCR. However, most of the IDPs and the local population suffer from a lack of continued health care provision as a result of insecurity or absence of health partners.
  • Chad, Cameroun and Central African Republic
    Over the past months, the situation in the Chad, Central African Republic and Sudan triangle has steadily deteriorated, and now threatens to spill over into neighbouring Cameroun. Fighting is intensifying in eastern Chad, that since 2003 hosts more than 232 000 refugees from Darfur, and where 90 000 people are also internally displaced. Chad is also hosting 48 000 refugees from the Central African Republic accommodated in several camps in the south. WHO is strengthening its presence in Abeche (Chad) and in Bangui and Bassangoa (Central African Republic) and carrying out health assessments in the refugee camps in Cameroun in coordination with partners. The Italian Government is one of the main supporters of this operation.
  • Côte d'Ivoire
    The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, with adverse effects on displaced and other vulnerable groups, particularly in the volatile western and northern areas. In the first half of 2006, the national average of children vaccinated was 70%; nevertheless, a quarter of health districts still have a coverage rate below 30%, also due to a lack of routine immunization. The collection of health information and health data is improving in some districts, but in others, especially those in the North and the West, the rate of completeness and promptitude is still very low, which is a weakening factor for the disease surveillance system.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The main public health problems are malaria, acute respiratory infections (including tuberculosis), diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera) and pregnancy-related complications. Disease control thus remains a major priority. Child mortality is at least 126 deaths per 1000 live births, with malaria being the cause of 45% of child deaths. The mortality rate in the East continues to be above acceptable levels, with a maternal mortality rate of 1800 deaths per 100 000 live births. The HIV/AIDS incidence is estimated at the relatively high level of 4.2%. Beside the displacement of persons, there are also factors like the high level of poverty and the environmental conditions which increase the risk of illness. The immunization coverage level is also very low with, for example, only 40% of the children being vaccinated against measles.
  • Great Lakes
    Despite an overall improvement of the security situation, the region’s crises continue to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Great Lakes Region (GLR). Access to healthcare, especially for those displaced by conflict, has been limited largely due to a collapse in preexisting health infrastructure.
  • Horn of Africa
    WHO is looking at an affected population of about 2 million as far as immediate and medium term threats are concerned. As far as polio eradication is concerned, the potential economic and social impact of a failure of this effort is much more difficult to estimate.
  • Republic of the Congo
    The general health situation among the Congolese population is very precarious and characterized by a high level of mortality which is estimated at 14.3 per 1000. Under-five mortality is estimated at 108 per 1000 and maternal mortality at 787 per 100 000 live births.
  • Somalia
    Access to, and quality of health care in Somalia remains inadequate to meet the needs of the population. In addition, health services are unequally distributed, with vast areas completely deprived of basic health care. There are only 39 qualified doctors per one million inhabitants, mainly concentrated in urban areas and only 141 qualified midwives, There is an urgent need to gradually increase access to basic health care by expanding and scaling up primary health care, targeting the most under-served areas.
  • Sri Lanka
    The re-start of the conflict in the north-east of Sri Lanka between the Government Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has already caused the displacement of more than 200,000 people in 2006, with the possibility of an increase to an estimated 400,000 in case of further dissemination of the conflict. In addition, one million people in the hosting communities are likely to be affected if the conflict continues.
  • Sudan
    The overall objective is to reduce avoidable morbidity and mortality among vulnerable populations in areas affected by conflict (especially Darfur) or natural disasters, to strengthen the health care delivery system and build the capacity of MoH on the federal level, in southern Sudan and in the transitional areas.
  • The occupied Palestinian territory
    Access to health care services remains one of the main constraints, both for health care workers as well as patients. Curfews and the increasing number of checkpoints and roadblocks aggravate the situation. In the West Bank, as a consequence of the strike of MoH staff, only critical medical cases are received at governmental hospitals and health clinics and hospital wards.
  • Uganda
    According to the Service Availability Mapping (SAM) survey, the coverage of key health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS interventions remain low. Particularly, access to HIV/AIDS services at lower level units is insufficient. Many health facilities, particularly in Gulu, do not provide vaccination services and ante-natal care. This lack of services is partly due to a major shortage of human resources in the conflict affected districts (the doctor population ratio is 1:53 291 in Pader district, 1:18 000 at the national level). In addition, most of the trained staff is concentrated at district headquarters.
  • West African region
    Access to and availability of functioning and affordable health care services are not granted to large numbers of the most vulnerable people, especially rural communities and displaced persons. As such, the recurrent health emergencies in most of the West African countries need considerable and sustainable efforts in terms of coordination, including information management, of technical support and of resource mobilization.
  • Zimbabwe
    The provision of health services has been adversely affected by economic instability in recent years. The quality of services, as reflected by the basic indicators of the country’s socio-economic situation and the quality of life, indicate no signs of improvement. Funding gaps in the health sector are a major concern in a country with increased numbers of epidemics, drug shortages, and manpower crisis in strategic departments affected by HIV/AIDS. Therefore, support from the humanitarian community is still required.