Barriers to accessing healthcare in Ouaka, Central African Republic | MSF – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

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The medical needs and daily struggles of the people of Ouaka are almost invisible to the international community and CAR remains a protracted ‘forgotten’ crisis.

The situation in Ouaka reflects similar situations in other prefectures across the country. Communities in CAR face many persistent obstacles that prevent them from reaching medical care in time.

The most serious barriers are displacement from their homes caused by the repeated cycles of violence, and the fact that, for most people, quality healthcare remains unaffordable and unavailable.

The few health facilities that function are ill-equipped, have severe shortages of skilled medical professionals and supplies, or are simply out of people’s reach.

Long distances and a deadly journey

The limited number of functioning health facilities drives many people, including Aboubakar’s mother, to find desperate solutions to get hold of medical care. 

Lidi had two options if she became pregnant or her children fell ill and needed to reach a health facility: either a seven-km walk through the dense forest, or a costly 25-km motorbike ride along a poorly maintained road, which is almost impassable during the rainy season. 

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