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This year Katiola hospital’s maternity unit started providing care for complicated deliveries and ante- and neonatal emergencies.

Mother and pre- and antenatal care is a priority for the Ministry of Health in Côte d’Ivoire, as maternal mortality has been increasing since 2005. Women generally deliver their babies at home with traditional birth attendants and without effective emergency obstetric care when there are complications.

With the Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a mother and child health programme in Katiola hospital in 2014. The 90-bed facility serves as the sole referral hospital for the whole region but until recently had very limited capacity to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care. Only women who could afford to be transported by ambulance were referred to the larger Bouaké hospital to get the necessary medical assistance.

MSF renovated Katiola’s maternity unit and the two operating theatres, built a water supply and sewage network in the hospital, and organised training for midwives. As a result, emergency obstetric care and complicated deliveries are now being managed by MSF, and between July and December over 1,000 births, more than 100 of them requiring caesarean sections, were assisted.

Ebola in neighbouring countries

As a consequence of the Ebola outbreak, the borders with Liberia and Guinea were closed in August. No suspected cases were reported in 2014, but an MSF team visited the area bordering Liberia to assess the preparedness of local staff and the authorities, as well as community awareness. MSF collaborated with the health authorities to build an Ebola management centre in Yopougon hospital in Abidjan (the country’s largest city), as a contingency plan. MSF also supported the training of health staff and rapid investigation teams.

No. staff in 2014: 152 | Expenditure: 2.3 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1990 |