Touba (Mali) The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Mother of God Province of West Africa (AFO) since 1982, on behalf of the Diocese, manage the Center de Santé Communautaire (CSCOM) in Touba, South-East Mali, the only health facility in the area. In particular, CSCOM covers the needs of 11 villages, with a total population of over 12,000 people. The sick also come from villages and rural areas on the border with Burkina Faso.
Each day, CSCOM carries out laboratory tests for common diseases (malaria and typhoid fever) and vaccinations. Small surgical or emergency operations are performed and the delivery room is active. There is an almost free pharmacy service.
Recently, patients with probable symptoms of Coronavirus have presented themselves. The Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), as part of the Covid-19 prevention program in Africa, has funded two Projects for CSCOM.
The health project allows for supplying the Center with individual and medicinal Prevention Devices, which are not easy to find and are expensive. The products necessary for the production of sanitizing gel and for sanitization were also purchased, as well as a microscope, and what was needed to perform laboratory tests and identify Coronavirus.
The training project is aimed at raising awareness of the risks and what is essential to put in place to protect yourself from infection. The priority is to fight the pandemic by implementing prevention and education, which are the only means available to reach the majority of the population living in villages far from health centers and hospitals and who often have no means of reaching them.
The project includes a hygiene awareness campaign for the prevention of the Covid-19 virus, carried out by CSCOM workers in several ways:
– within CSCOM, for patients who come for treatment and for their families;
– in Touba, for families, school personnel, and Professional Formation Centers;
– in the 11 villages that refer to CSCOM, with formation especially of the village leaders, teachers, and pupils of the 8 primary schools of the villages, of the leaders of the Catholic and Protestant chapels, of catechists, of Imams of the Koranic schools.
Explanatory leaflets, reproducing the modules offered by the Bamako Health Office and the World Health Organization (WHO), constitute a valid aid, especially for those unfamiliar with the written word.
To reach as many people as possible with information on the Covid-19 situation, on prevention, and on what to do in an emergency, collaboration with the local Radio Touba and Radio Parana has been started. The latter is a rural radio station of the Diocese that broadcasts mainly in the minority languages spoken in the south-east of the country, reaching Burkina Faso.
Thanks to collaboration with these radios, transmissions and information spots are made for children and adults, which can reach 700 thousand people. There are three languages used for resources and for radio broadcasts: Bambara (also spoken in nearby Burkina Faso), Boré, French.
Everything is organized in synergy with the dioceses and local authorities. The material was also used by the FMA School in Bamako (Mali), which has over 1,000 pupils from preschool to middle school.