Published on : 01/24/2023 – 18:02
A World Health Organization doctor was abducted Monday in the town of Ménaka, in eastern Mali, said a statement from the UN organization’s regional office for Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed and condemned, Tuesday, January 24, the kidnapping, the day before in eastern Mali, of a doctor working for the organization.
The WHO “deplores the kidnapping of Dr Mahamadou Diawara, who was abducted by unidentified people in his car on January 23, 2023 in the town of Ménaka”, indicates a press release from the regional office of the UN organization for the Africa.
“The driver of his car was also assaulted and abandoned by the perpetrators of the kidnapping. He is recovering from the incident”, it is specified. The WHO adds that the reason for the abduction is not known, and does not specify the nationality of the doctor.
“Health personnel should never be a target,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said later during a press briefing in Geneva. He assured that the organization was participating in the investigation and doing everything to ensure that Mahamadou Diawara is quickly released.
“Our job is to go where people are and need health care”
In post for the WHO in Ménaka since the beginning of 2020, Dr Diawara provided medical care to communities that were often isolated and faced risks of insecurity and violence.
In October 2022, the WHO had drawn up the portrait of this surgeon who then declared: “A patient is a patient (…). Our job is to go where people are and need help. sanitary.”
After several years in Gao, also in eastern Mali, Dr Diawara asked to be posted to Ménaka, near the border with Niger where more than 25,500 displaced Malians were living last October, in six sites, in precarious conditions and with limited access to health care.
When the author of the article asked him if he was ever afraid, the surgeon replied: “Of course he is, but the main thing is to stay focused on our mission: to help people”.