Amidst COVID-19, IOM Strengthens Healthcare Facilities in Chad

Published Date: 
Tue, 11/17/2020 - 22:30
Country: 
Chad

Moussoro – Located about 350 kilometres from N’Djamena, at “the doors of the desert”, the city of Moussoro, in the Barh el-Ghazel Province of Chad, is an important transportation hub connecting Chad with Sudan and Libya. It is also a key transit hub for migrants including Chadians and third country nationals travelling to Northern provinces hoping to find work in artisanal gold mines, or to cross into Libya.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, more than 900 migrants – most of them Chadians – have been deported from Libya into Chad. On their return journeys their communities, most of them stop in Moussoro.

In such a dynamic and cosmopolitan city, local and community health centres are key to ensuring equal access to healthcare, especially for migrants, as providing healthcare to new flows of migrants can put additional burden on the city’s already limited healthcare resources.

“Vulnerable persons such as migrants are sometimes excluded from key social services such as healthcare because of their legal status or simply because the existing infrastructures can only care for a limited number of people”, explains Jean-Claude Bashirahishize, Project Manager at IOM Chad.

With the support of the European Union’s Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa (RDPP NA), IOM rehabilitated the Moussoro health centre to increase migrants’ access to healthcare along their journeys. The rehabilitated health centre was handed over last week (11/11) to the local authorities of the Barh el-Ghazel Province of Chad.

The renovation work started in July 2020 and was completed in October 2020 and includes the full repainting of the healthcare centre building, the construction of a cinder block fence wall, and an endowment of brand-new hospital beds. The health centre was also equipped water tower to provide an autonomous water supply and ensure continuous access to healthcare support.

“We laud our cooperation with IOM and other partners which has made possible the renovation of this health centre”, said H.E. Djibrine Souleymane Nouraine, Secretary General of the Barh el-Ghazel Province. “This is a sigh of relief for us because our province will now be able to provide healthcare to more people, including migrants”, he added.

“The high flow of migrants and travellers through the city adds substantial pressure to the its social services such as healthcare, hence the need to ensure that these structures have enough capacity to provide for both local populations and migrants”, says Jean-Claude Bashirahishize, Project Manager at IOM Chad.

Through the project, IOM will support the rehabilitation of key infrastructures such as health centres and airports in main transit cities of Moussoro, Faya and N’Djamena to strengthen migrants’ access to social services.

In addition, IOM will also provide assisted voluntary return and reintegration to third-country national migrants stranded in Chad. Finally, IOM will, through the project, roll-out an awareness raising campaign on safe migration and available services which includes roundtables with youths and journalists to discuss the push and pull factors, as well as the risks of irregular migration.

For more information, please contact Francois-Xavier Ada-Affana, IOM Chad’s Communications Officer. Email: fadaaffana@iom.int