IRIN Examines Damage Done To Mali’s Health Care System During 2012 Coup

“Health care has been severely impaired throughout northern Mali, where the militant Islamists seized key towns during the” country’s March 2012 coup, IRIN reports, adding, “The rebels were ousted by French forces in January, but recovery of the sector has been slow.” The news service examines how the fighting affected the country’s health care system, saying that in some areas, up to 70 percent of clinics and hospitals were destroyed. “The effects of the conflict have overwhelmed Mali’s already weak public health system,” IRIN writes, adding, “Health care disruptions caused by the conflict, including the flight of medical staff, contributed to epidemics of cholera, malaria and measles in late 2012 and the start of 2013, experts say.” In addition, “[t]hree out of every four households are reliant on food assistance, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a recent appeal,” the news service notes. “As Mali steadies itself, with a newly elected president, some health experts fear that the economic, political and governance priorities will overshadow the need to restore the health sector” (10/3).