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EU: €5.5m for access to health care in Guinea-Bissau

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

EU: €5.5m for access to health care in Guinea-Bissau

A total of 5.5 million Euro will be allocated over the next 36 months by the European Commission to a programme that aims to facilitate access to basic health care for pregnant women and children under five in the specific regions in Guinea-Bissau. The objective of the programme is to enable 80% of the population of these regions, including a large majority of women and children, to see a health officer at least three times a year.
The benefiting  regions are Biombo, Cacheu, Ohio and Farim in Guinea-Bissau, which have a total population of approximately 520 000.
The programme is entitled Integrated Mother and Child Health Programme (Programme Intégré de santé Maternelle et Infantile - PIMI) and will make medicines available at rural health centres during a first, 36-month phase.
It will also facilitate the daily work of healthcare staff by improving their training and supplying equipment. Since 52% of the population live more than 5 km from a healthcare centre, the programme includes basic healthcare training for members of the most remote village communities so that they can respond to immediate needs, particularly in the case of women and children.
Consultation with health professionals and essential medical supplies will also be provided free of charge.
The programme will receive a supplement of a further EUR 2.5 million, provided under a second phase,.
Guinea-Bissau is considered by the European Commission to be a vulnerable country. After the armed conflict of 1998/1999, it went through a difficult period, regularly interrupted by coups d'état, which hampered attempted reforms and development. On 12 April 2012 there was another military coup which prevented the second round of the presidential elections being held and plunged the country into instability
In the context of the ongoing procedure (under the Cotonou Agreement), institutional cooperation with the Government of Guinea-Bissau has currently been suspended, but direct support to the population and civil society continues. This new programme for improving access to health care will therefore be implemented by UNICEF and other non-governmental organisations.

Source: European Commission