Ivory Coast - "Street girls", the most vulnerable, need help and solidarity

11 May 2020

(ANS - Abiyán) - Like many countries in this African region, the Ivory Coast is beginning to be seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the moment, in fact, the cases of infection and death are still quite contained, but the prospects are not good and experts believe the virus may spread rapidly in forthcoming months.

The situation of alarm and extreme poverty has been aggravated by the rigid confinement or lockdown of many sectors of the country, which has thus plunged the most vulnerable population into a dramatic situation, namely not having the basic resources to even survive.

The projects of the Salesians in the Ivory Coast were also severely affected by the interruption of the tuition fees in many of their educational centers, aimed above all at the poorest social classes. The center for street girls in Abiyán, known as the "foyer of the Marie Dominique Village", which welcomes thirty children, urgently needs food, hygiene materials to prevent infections and medical assistance.

Why is the pandemic in Africa so worrying? It is a recurring question, which has prompted many to study the situation in Africa. Though the impact the coronavirus may have on this continent is uncertain, what is certain is that it is an addition to other current emergencies. In Africa, measles, for example, and various humanitarian crises coexist with the three main endemics (malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis), with tropical diseases, and with a plague of locusts that threatens food security in the Horn of Africa.

With one of the world's most fragile health systems, Africa bears a quarter of the global disease burden and has only 3% of health workers. In terms of tangible investments, most of the healthcare budget in African countries is destined for medical products, staff spending is 14% and infrastructure spending 7%. These figures are far from those of regions with more efficient health systems, where investments are higher both in the workforce (40%) and in infrastructure (33%).


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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