Mali: report 2012

January 2012 : An intense cold and biting wind force us to intensify the distributions.  The families who have to cross the river to reach us are given two weeks supply to reduce the need to travel which is often dangerous.

We receive several children in need of emergency aid either because the family will not take them to hospital or because the care they have received at the Nutritional Recovery Unit has been insufficient.  Under the watchful eye of Sophie, Mariam, our qualified nurse, takes care of them.  Agaly, who arrived in December with a large abcess  in his armpit, has recovered following several lancings of the abcess and a course of antibiotics.  Mariama is recovering nicely. She gains weight everyday and no longer has any symptoms of illness.

We take in 4 new orphans who have all lost their mothers.  Two of them will probably remain in the centre.  The new children’s home Oasis Zankey Aljanahugo (Children’s Paradise) will soon be ready.  We are currently finalising its set up.

The state has increased its military presence in the north.  Our work out in the field has become very difficult.  The conflict between the rebels and the Malian army has led to many people fleeing the bloody battles in panic and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.  These people have nothing, no water and no food.  That, combined with the extreme cold, leaves everyone fearing the worst.

February 2012 :  The weather remains very cold with a biting, dusty wind.  Our distributions are made on mats laid out in the sunshine.

A tiny baby of three weeks old has just lost her mother.  Saouda is severely malnourished but has no other medical problems.  Her elderly father brings her in with another little girl, probably her older sister.  He is deeply distressed by his situation.  Much to his relief we offer to look after the baby and help him find someone to look after the older shild until our Reception Centre opens.  The baby will be given to Gipo who is very experienced in looking after fragile infants.

As a result of the conflict in the north of the country many families have sought refuge here in Gao.  It is becoming increasingly difficult for the local population, many of whom are themselves on the brink of poverty, to offer help.

We take part in a meeting of all the international NGO’s to establish a plan of action to respond to this growing crisis.

The AAG undertakes responsibility for the support of the children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.  A plan is put in place complete with a small budget.

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AAG - Association d'Aide à Gao - Suisse -