DAKAR — The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, donated medical equipment valuing about $1.5 million to Senegal, handing over the gift to the president, Abdoulaye Wade, early this month at a ceremony in the capital.
The equipment was financed through UNFPA’s own resources and the Government of Luxembourg and is meant for the remote regions of Saint-Louis, Matam and Tambacounda to help reduce maternal mortality. The donation includes such reproductive-health commodities as 10 ambulances, 125 motorbikes, 400 bicycles, 120 hospital beds, 80 birth tables, 86 gynaecological beds, 2 operating tables, contraceptives and various kits (for Caesarean births, for example).
The ceremony took place during the International Conference on Family Planning from 29 November to 2 December in Dakar.
UNFPA officials at the ceremony, presided over by President Wade, included Werner Haug, Director of the Technical Division, Yao Faustin, Director of the Sub Regional Office, West and Central Africa, and Rose Gakuba, Resident Representative in Senegal. Other high-level officials at the ceremony included Modou Diagne, the Senegalese Minister of Health, Jacques Flies, the Director of Cooperation Agency of Luxembourg, and Nagesha Rao Parthasarathi, Ambassador of India to Senegal.
A partnership among UNFPA, Luxembourg and Senegal Ministry of Health has markedly improved health indicators of northern Senegal. In the Saint-Louis region, for example, contraceptive use has jumped to 16.1 per cent in 2010 from 9.9 per cent in 2007, compared with a national average of 12.1 per cent rate. The average number of assisted births also increased to 72 per cent from 48 per cent in the region, whereas the national average remained at 65 per cent over the same time frame.
President Wade said he would create an inspectorate to safeguard the new equipment.
— Ndeye Niang