By Charles Redding, MedShare CEO & President
While the health care system in Senegal is improving, there is still a tremendous need to address health disparities within the population. As a result, only 32 percent of rural households have access to regular health care. Senegal has only around 3.1 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people, which makes it one of the countries least covered with qualified maternal care in the world (162 out of 187 countries). Not surprisingly, outcomes for maternal and child health are poor.
Many organizations are working to provide aid to ensure wider access to health care in Senegal. MedShare recently had the opportunity to join efforts with the Jef Jel Project to provide aid to Senegal with a focus on Maternal Child Health.
“Jef Jel” is an expression in the Wolof language of Senegal that comes from the words “jef” meaning “effort” and “jel” meaning “take.” Together, “jef jel” translates to “give and take” or “the nature of your reward equals the nature of your effort.”
The Jef Jel Project supports the people of Ndangane, a small rural village in Senegal, West Africa. Through the support of Jef Jel, the villagers will:
- live and survive within a familial social support system
- establish entrepreneurial activities in the agricultural, fishery, and artist industries
- have timely access to quality health care
- have the means to pursue education without jeopardizing the success of their income-generating activities or their progress toward financial independence.
MedShare partnered with Jef Jel to deliver over $200,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment to Centre Hospitalier Regional El Hadji Ibrahima. It is estimated that these supplies were used to treat over 15,000 patients and included many items needed to improve maternal and child health outcomes, including beds, bassinets, sutures, ambu bags and Clean Birthing Kits.
“Hello to all who participated [in] the success of this donation. We say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May god bless you: Amen! Thanks again for your support of our community in need. Particularly in rural areas we do not have the means, and the supplies and equipment will go a long way to helping. My sincere thanks to the Jef Jel Project. The picture attached shows women from our village with their babies who received medical supplies and clean birthing kits from MedShare.”
With a total population over 15 million people, much work remains to put access to quality health services within reach of most Senagalese. 54% of the population lives below the poverty line and the infant mortality rate is 42/1,000 live births. MedShare is very fortunate to work with organizations like Jef Jel that aim to provide vital assistance to struggling communities in Senegal so that they can fully participate in their local economies and live healthier and happier lives.