Healthcare access for vulnerable populations: Interview with Roch M’Bétid

Dr Roch M’Bétid, gynaecologist and obstetrician

Dr. Roch M’BÉTID

Gynaecologist and obstetrician at the Amitié Hospital in Bangui in the Central African Republic, which houses the free care unit for victims of sexual and gender-based violence

GOOD TO KNOW

Renewed violence in the Central African Republic

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, sex crimes in the Central African Republic have increased by around 10%, and intentional assaults on women and children have increased by 69%, according to a UN Police report published in June 2020. Health measures, such as limited access to social services, have worsened the situation of women: they represent 97% of the victims of gender-based violence.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

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Annual Report (Intéractif | Pdf) >>

On the occasion of the release of its annual report, The Pierre Fabre Foundation is publishing a series of interviews with the partners who support it in carrying out local actions.

More and more patients are coming to us for consultation.

Work started on the NENGO project in 2020, but when did it actually go live?

We began providing care in mid-September 2020. The message that our service was up and running is circulating effectively, and more and more patients are coming to us for help with issues such as genderbased violence, obstetric fistula, prolapse and genital mutilation. As things stand at the moment, we don’t yet fully cover the more remote districts, because the roads around the capital remain closed due to the presence of armed rebels.
As soon as peace returns, Médecins Sans Frontières will help us to identify just how many people need our care and support.

Could you describe the working relationship you have with your Congolese colleagues and Dr Mukwege’s team?

The team from Panzi hospital in the DRC, which is where the holistic care model we are using originated, came to work with us in Bangui to transfer their skills and train the NENGO project medical teams.
We may also expand our staff, depending on the results of the needs assessment we plan to carry out.

What are your expectations of a project such as this?

The funding we receive from the AFD and the Fondation Pierre Fabre gives the victims we treat a real opportunity, because it allows us to extend care to include psychological, socio-economic and legal issues, and ultimately provides long-term and appropriate response to the distress that they are in. We’ll also be working with the Association of Women Lawyers of the Central African Republic to intensify our work on community awareness of these issues. Our single goal is to help people and uphold the rights of individuals, but especially women.

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