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Reference : V-P-CF-E-00687
Date : 11/2011
Caption : Haut-Mbomou prefecture, Obo, hospital. Joseph, the hospital pharmacist. The bare shelves behind him attest to the irregular and unreliable supply of medicines to the pharmacy.
Photographer : HERBY, Christopher
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, Photo gallery, 11-01-2012

Central African Republic: silent scourge – fighting malaria

Malaria is the number one cause of death in the Central African Republic. The ICRC has been carrying out a pilot project to tackle this scourge since September 2011 in Obo, in the south-east of the country. The idea is simple: diagnose the disease at the first sign of symptoms, administer anti-malarial drugs and provide medical care throughout the treatment, without it costing the patient anything. In three months, this programme has proved that early treatment of malaria drastically reduces the mortality rate. Scroll through this photo gallery to find out more about the region, which is also plagued by endemic poverty and violence linked to the presence of the Lord's Resistance Army.

The doctor in charge of Obo regional hospital was killed in June 2011 by unidentified individuals. Today, a nurse and a pharmacist hold the fort as best they can. The Haut-Mbomou prefecture, in which Obo is located, has around 40,000 inhabitants and only three qualified nurses. Life expectancy in the Central African Republic is 48 years, which puts the country next to last on the world ranking. The lack of health-care facilities helps to explain this sorry state of affairs.

Joseph, the hospital pharmacist, shares his concerns: "It's disgraceful that we can't do more. We have to sit idly by, all day long, unable to do anything." The pharmacy receives an irregular and unreliable supply of medicines – a few anti-malarial drugs and some antibiotics.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4200x2800
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour