While there have been slight improvements in the security situation in parts of the Central African Republic (CAR) in recent months, the country is still in the grips of a major health crisis, following years of conflict and under-development.
Recurrent violence has displaced entire communities, and more than 1.47 million people need humanitarian health services. The CAR Ministry of Health and WHO lead the group of humanitarian partners, known as the Health Cluster, working together to care for people affected by the crisis.
Only 55% of health facilities in the country are functioning, and most rely on support from non-governmental organizations and UN agencies like WHO.
In 2014, Health Cluster partners delivered medical supplies for the treatment of 800 000 patients and provided care for more than 615 000 people in CAR.
But without a major injection of funding, humanitarian health services will stop. WHO and Health Cluster partners need US$ 63 million to treat conflict-related injuries and deliver routine care, such as maternal and child health services and treatment of noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
With elections scheduled for later in 2015, the security situation may worsen. Preparedness for possible eruptions of violence and disease outbreaks is vital. Action needs to be taken now.