IRIN Reports On Temporary, Free Medical Care In Cote d’Ivoire

“Many public hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire are overflowing as people rush to benefit from a brief period of free medical services, announced by the government [in April] as part of the recovery from months of post-election chaos. But the health ministry has been quick to point out that this is a temporary measure and fees will be reinstated at the end of May,” IRIN writes in a story examining reaction to health care in the country.

IRIN reports that while “medicines and services are scarce after sanctions drained drug supplies, many health workers fled their posts, and hospitals were looted during the conflict,” the country’s interim health minister Remi Allah Kouadio, said health supplies are slowly being replenished. Kouadio, who credited UNICEF, the WHO and Medecins Sans Frontieres with some of the aid, said, “We cannot charge the population for medicines we’re receiving free” (5/12).

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