MSF warns of alarming mortality rates in CAR

While other African countries are experiencing food insecurity, the Central African Republic is facing a mortality crisis.

Four mortality surveys conducted by Médecins Sans Frontières over the past 18 months in the country show one person dies every day for every 10,000 people, and two for every 10,000 under five. This is alarming for a country with the second-lowest life expectancy (48 years) and the fifth-highest death rate from infectious and parasitic diseases.

The high mortality rate, the MSF says, is due to the massive prevalence of preventable diseases in the country such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and an unusual sleeping sickness that affects humans bitten by the tsetse fly. Conflict and displacement also adds to the crisis. Ten armed groups are said to roam the country.

“What we found in CAR with these mortality numbers is that normal is unacceptable … normal itself is pretty damn bad,” MSF Humanitarian Affairs Officer Sean Healy said, as reported in AlertNet. He is also the author of “Central African Republic: A State of Silent Crisis.”

Despite the alarming mortality figures, the government of CAR continues to spend $7 per capita per year on health.

MSF is calling the attention of donor countries, aid groups and the government of CAR to do more for the country’s remaining 4.4 million people.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.