It has been in an unfinished state for so many years, that the villagers had almost given up hope of seeing their new community health centre completed. Resigned to this fact, they would continue to go to an old, decrepit and cramped building in the middle of the market square in Doura, Mali. But since June, a wind of change has been blowing through the village: the health centre has been restored by Terre des hommes (Tdh).
It goes without saying that the health centre is of vital importance, not only for local residents but also for the 16,700 people living in the 15 neighbouring villages that depend on the health area covered by the activities of the community health centre (CSCom). Some of these villages are more than 20km away in the bush which is why CSCom receives a host of pregnant woman, young mothers, new-borns, children and old people every day.
The long story of a project…
The story begins a little over ten years ago. As an investment priority, the community asked representatives from the local authority to build a new building. This had to be bigger, better equipped and situated outside the crowded market area so that patients could get there easily and that staff could manage the comings and goings of patients better.
Open to this idea, the local authorities released the funds for the construction of a new CSCom which they gave to the municipal authority. The construction work started in 2003 but management problems quickly appeared. The funds evaporated and the dishonest mayor took to his heels with the rest of the money. The half-started construction ground to a halt at the end of the same year. The authorities, outraged at having been duped, no longer wanted to carry out the work and abandoned the project.
…completed by Terre des hommes
Ten years later, as a consequence of the military and food emergency, Tdh intervened in the region to combat malnutrition. Benefitting from financial support from the European Commission and UNICEF, the Foundation decided to restart work on the centre. In the space of three months, the abandoned walls and cracks were repaired and tiled. The roof was constructed, doors and walls added and the floor was paved. Tdh connected the building to a supply of running water.
The new building is now composed of six rooms with enough space for consultations, treatment (such as vaccinations, malnutrition or accidents and emergencies) as well as a pharmacy.
In the meantime, the Mayor of Doura could not go very far as he got arrested. Justice was served!
Every year, Terre des hommes offers sustainable solutions and a better future for over two million children and their relatives. Learn more about our projects in Mali.