Minister of Health,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
- It is a great pleasure to be here today for this dissemination event for the 2019-2021 Mauritania Demographic and Health Survey report, the first since 2001. On behalf of the United States Government, I first would like to acknowledge the many technical and financial contributions from our esteemed counterparts in the Government of Mauritania, the Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Démographique et Économique (ANSADE) and the Ministry of Health, ICF-Macro and our esteemed partners at UNFPA, the World Bank, Global Fund, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and European Union.
- The United States Government, through USAID, has a long-standing partnership with the Government of Mauritania in various areas of health. Our collaboration on the Demographic and Health Survey is critical as it tracks progress being made to improve health outcomes in Mauritania and provides an invaluable data set for Health Strategy Planning. We are proud to have contributed just over $1 million dollars towards the 2019-2021 Mauritania DHS.
- Unlike the previous survey, this survey used tablets for data collection, which improved data quality significantly. Additionally, for the first time, this DHS measured biomarkers including Hepatitis B and malaria which not only allow for improved data for policy making, but the results were communicated back to respondents, allowing for referrals and counseling in real time.
- The survey results demonstrate the progress made as well as the challenges that need to be addressed to improve the health of all Mauritanians. We can celebrate many positive improvements – like the decreases in maternal and infant mortality rates in since 2001.
- Despite progress, a lot needs to be done to improve the percentage of Mauritanian children who have received all basic vaccinations. The results of the survey show that though some progress was made, additional investment is needed to reach the regional average of 56 percent.
- In closing, I offer my sincere thanks, on behalf of the US Government and USAID, to all the people and organizations who worked so hard to make this survey happen. The Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Démographique et Économique (ANSADE) managed every step of this survey from the initial planning, through training, data collection and data entry, and writing of the final report with the technical support of ICF. Their work has been exemplary.
- Thanks to the Government of Mauritania, development partners, and to the survey teams, interviewers, and the 12,120 women and men who responded to this survey. Without their willingness to participate, we would not be here today, equipped with information that will enable critical decision-making to improve the health status of the people of Mauritania.