Different biographies, but the same ideals
Merck Médication Familiale (MMF) covers the costs of the transport and stay of the medical volunteers. One MMF sales force member has been accompanying the team for the past three years. “This is not some kind of marketing ploy,” says Dr. Michel du Peloux, until recently Managing Director of MMF, and now responsible for Research at Merck Consumer Health Care. The partnership between AR MADA and MMF is the result of a friendship between two men who have different biographies but the same ideals. Former sea captain Dr. Christian Gros met Dr. du Peloux more or less by chance in Paris. At the time, Dr. du Peloux wanted to involve his laboratories in a humanitarian medical aid program. “We quickly won him over,” says Dr. Gros.
AR MADA has a long-term commitment and is flexible in its approach. “We cooperate closely with the government-run institutions,” says Dr. Gros. The team regularly treats patients in order to strengthen the country’s healthcare system. “We signed agreements with Madagascar’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, and our doctors are registered with the country’s medical association.” The team is accompanied by Madagascan medical experts on tropical diseases, since malaria is widespread. MMF provides financial and logistical support and publicizes the dates when the team will arrive in a certain area.
Marielle Berthier travels with the doctors on their boat for six days, during which they journey from Masiakampy to Morondava. “What could be more important than giving people access to healthcare?” she asks. This latest mission provided help to 1,744 patients.
|Madagascar’s state-run healthcare system|
Almost a quarter of the country’s population lives more than ten kilometers from the nearest healthcare facility.
Antananarivo and major cities:
6 university hospitals receiving international funding
Approximately 200 pharmacies in and around the capital
Centre Hospitalier de District II
55 district hospitals and 4 regional healthcare centers with emergency surgery and obstetric stations
Centre Hospitalier de District I
85 district hospitals with one doctor each
1,842 Centres de Santé de Base II with one doctor each
1,106 Centres de Santé de Base I with health technicians
12,000 volunteers provide outpatient care and first aid with the support of national and international NGOs
1,700 rural pharmacists supply medicines
President’s Malaria Initiative Needs Assessment Madagascar, March 2007