The French Red Cross in Comoros
Overview of the Comoros
The Union of the Comoros is located in the Indian Ocean at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Mozambique, and consists of three islands: Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Ndzuani (Anjouan).
The country is particularly vulnerable to natural risks, which affect the archipelago’s most populated areas and take a devastating human and physical toll. These risks have a direct impact on the population’s health. However the Comorian health system faces challenges in terms of medical and paramedical human resources, institutional capacities, and public funding, which affect its ability to respond.
French Red Cross presence in the Comoros
La The French Red Cross (FRC) has been present in the Union of the Comoros since 2000. It has provided support for the Comoros Red Crescent (CoRC), which is a member of the PIROI programme, during disasters such as the 2002 and 2007 cholera epidemics, the 2009 plane crash, flooding in 2003 and 2012, and Cyclone Hellen in 2014.
Since 2016, the FRC has also been developing a programme to strengthen the Comorian healthcare system as well as the capacities of the Ministry of Health. It aims to improve healthcare quality and raise public awareness of good health practices.
The Comorian health system has very high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates. In 2004 life expectancy was 65.5 years (64 years for men and 67 years for women).
The epidemiological situation of the Union of the Comoros continues to be dominated by contagious diseases including acute respiratory infections, fevers, and diarrhoea. These conditions are responsible for the high mortality rate, especially among children under 5 and pregnant women.
Since 2016, the French Red Cross and Comoros Red Crescent have implemented in the archipelago’s three islands a support and strengthening programme for the public and community health system to better patients care. As part of this project the FRC and CoRC support the Ministry of Health in modernising 16 health structures through training of human resources, improving hospital hygiene, and input support. In addition, Comoros Red Crescent volunteers are raising public awareness of best healthcare practices to enable lasting improvement to their health.
The project has three goals:
Consolidating the provision of healthcare in first-level health facilities:
- Rehabilitation of priority health facilities on the three islands;
- Provision of medication, supplies, screening kits and equipment;
- Organisation of supervisory training for healthcare personnel and management teams;
- Support for managing health facilities’ supplies;
- Support for the preparation and distribution of health information system reports;
- Participation in patients’ referral and counter-referral fees;
- Conduct of a patient satisfaction survey./li>
Increase local populations’ knowledge of maternal and child health, primary healthcare, and non-communicable diseases (diabetes and hypertension):
- Raise awareness of the Community-Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA) integrated approach and Essential Family Practices;
- Provide volunteers with screening kits and risk factor analysis sheets;
- Screening and home monitoring.
Technical support for the public health basic training given by the School of Medicine and Public Health (EMSP), and skills strengthening for health personnel:
- Support for teaching organisation to create two basic training modules in Public Health and in Information, Education and Communication (IEC) integrated into nursing and midwifery curricula;
- Training of Public Health and IEC/CBHFA instructors;
- Ongoing training and revision modules in public health/IEC for healthcare human resources, in partnership with the EMSP, district management teams, and the Ministry of Health’s core team.
The French Red Cross has signed a framework agreement with the Comoros Red Crescent which stipulates the technical support it provides for the disaster management and healthcare system strengthening activities carried out by CoRC.
Funding: the French Development Agency (AFD) through the PASCO project, and the delegation of the European Union in the Union of the Comoros.
Address : Délégation de la Croix-Rouge française,
Cap 2000 MORONI – Union des Comores
Phone : +269 359 26 67
E-Mail : email@example.com
Link : Comoros Red Cescent