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Central African Republic Town Struggling To Provide Health Care Since Withdrawal Of Foreign Companies, VOA Reports

VOA News examines how the 2009 withdrawal of foreign diamond-mining companies from the small town of Carnot in the Central African Republic (CAR) affected the local economy and access to health care for residents. Initially, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) “ran emergency nutrition programs for the first year, but then discovered deeper health problems in the region, including a child mortality rate that is three times above what is considered an emergency level, as well as elevated rates of HIV and tuberculosis,” the news service writes.

Noting that the CAR “ranked 179th out of 187 countries on the United Nations human development index, with a life expectancy of just 48 years of age,” VOA states, “While economic conditions have accounted for the health crisis in the west, conflict has been the cause in the east.” The news service continues, “While the government’s own investment in health care is lacking, the international community also has kept its distance from the country.” However, Carnot Mayor Pierre Dotwa “says the government’s health care development plan in the country involves continuing the programs established by MSF,” VOA News writes, adding Serge St. Louis, head of mission for MSF-France, described the relationship between MSF and the government “as ‘not perfect’ but ‘improving'” (Joselow, 10/24).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.