All care is currently provided free of charge to children under five and pregnant women, the most vulnerable populations. Patients over five years of age now only pay a fixed price of 200 CFA (instead of the usual 2000-6000 CFA) for complete treatment of feverish illnesses, which are the majority of the diseases encountered in this region. The loss of income for health centres is covered entirely by Médecins Sans Frontières so as to integrate the measure into the existing system. Most cases of malaria can now be tackled at an early stage in order to prevent the appearance of severe forms that often end in death.
“I used to have four patients a day in my health centre during the high-transmission period,” explained the head of one of the centres supervised by Médecins Sans Frontières. “Today, the team at the centre has to deal with 20 or 30 consultations on a daily basis. At last, we have the moral satisfaction of meeting the needs of our population.”
To overcome the distance problem Médecins Sans Frontières has set up mobile teams. During the six months of the rainy season, the “malaria agents” go off to isolated villages. These farmers and family men are trained and equipped by Médecins Sans Frontières to provide free screening and treatment for simple malaria cases in children under ten years of age.
Today, the population of Kangaba finally has access to quality healthcare. People can see a doctor without becoming even poorer; they can receive effective treatment; and, in the case of populations who are isolated during the rainy season, they can obtain free care at home.
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