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Mauritania: UNHCR interventions in the health sector

Countries: Mali, Mauritania
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Please refer to the attached file.

In Mauritania, UNHCR works closely with the Government and partner organizations to provide refugees with health care and medical treatment. During 2020, more than 21,220 medical consultations (of which approximately 45% provided to the host population) were provided in the health structures of Mbera refugee camp, more than 1,106 births were assisted and 19,326 vaccines were given to refugee children aged 0 – 11 months in Mbera camp.

In accordance with the commitments made at the World Refugee Forum in December 2019, the Mauritanian government is gradually integrating refugees into the national health system.

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Access to health care for refugees in Mauritania

Since the establishment of Mbera camp in 2012 in the Hodh Chargui region, UNHCR has provided free access to health care for refugees through its international and national partners. Since July 2020, the national performance-based funding program (INAYA) has been extended to the Hodh Chargui region with the support of the World Bank. In one of Mauritania’s poorest regions from a health perspective, the INAYA program will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of health services provided to the host and refugee communities. In urban areas, UNHCR’s partner, the Association for the Fight against Poverty and Underdevelopment (ALPD), supports refugees and asylum seekers to visit public facilities to access health care. The costs of primary and secondary health care are covered by the UNHCR.

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Integration of the Mbera camp into the national health system

The extension of INAYA in the Hodh Chargui region has made it possible to support the integration of the four health structures in Mbera camp, where some 62,000 refugees currently reside2 , into the national health system.

As a result, the humanitarian management of the health system, providing a free service, is gradually being phased out, and the INAYA system, which includes cost recovery for the provision of certain services, is being gradually rolled in.

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UNHCR continues to accompany and support this transition (humanitarian-development nexus) which will enable refugees to be fully integrated into the national health system and ensure the sustainable provision of health services to refugees.

UNHCR’s support will help mitigate the impact of cost recovery on refugees, maintain the quality of services and strengthening the technical services of Mbera camp’s health structures.

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