UNICEF Mauritania COVID-19 Situation Report: January 01 to December 31, 2021 – Mauritania

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Strong points

Mauritania has recorded 40,083 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3,453 cases among 0-19 year olds, 853 deaths, 38,741 recoveries and 489 active cases since March 2020.

In 2021, the government continued to implement the Covid-19 cohabitation strategy. For the coordination of the response, UNICEF co-led the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) / WASH and Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) pillars in support of the government.

The vaccination strategy has been at the center of the government’s efforts. UNICEF supported the development of the national vaccination strategy and the vaccination deployment plan submitted to the COVAX structure and the African Union, as well as the request for the necessary cold chain equipment.

Four COVID-19 mass vaccination campaigns were organized with the help of UNICEF in planning and logistics. Thus, 714,954 people (> 18 years old) were fully vaccinated, which represents 27% of the target population (2,690,855). Mauritania ranks 22nd out of 52 countries on the African continent and first in the West African sub-region. These mass campaigns were supported by campaigns to raise awareness of vaccination and compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures.

In terms of nutrition, 22 of the 55 districts are experiencing a nutritional emergency with a global acute malnutrition rate greater than 15% and / or a SAM rate greater than 2%. The onset of a polio epidemic required mobilization and the development of a national campaign, which was organized in December 2021 with the support of UNICEF.

Situation in figures

40,083 confirmed cases of COVID-19

38,741 recoveries

853 deaths (March 2020 – December 19, 2021)

714,259 people were fully vaccinated and

1,114,149 received the first dose (December 19, 2021)

740,000 children in need.

US $ 10.2M required variance

Funding overview and partnerships

In 2021, HAC is currently 42% funded for interventions related to nutrition, health, WASH, education, child protection, communication and social protection. There is a great need to support efforts along the link between peace and humanitarian development. UNICEF Mauritania would like to express its deep gratitude to all donors from the public and private sectors.

Situation overview and humanitarian needs

In 2021, Mauritania experienced two large waves of COVID-19 in January and June. Since September, confirmed cases have been stable but there is concern of a new wave with the appearance of the Omicron variant. These successive waves have led the authorities to take restrictive measures throughout the year (school closings, curfews, etc.). These measures have been lifted since October 2021.

At the start of the vaccination in March, priority was given to people at risk and vulnerable (chronically ill, over 55 years old, etc.). Since July, the target has been extended to the entire adult population, who are encouraged to be vaccinated. Nearly two million people of the target population still need to be vaccinated. Thanks to the communication efforts, the hesitations of the population were gradually overcome, contributing to the success of the national mass vaccination campaigns. Awareness is necessary to maintain compliance with barrier gestures but also to reach the target people to adhere to the vaccination.

The polio epidemic, which began in the second half of the year, required increased surveillance and the development of a national campaign that took place in December. According to the Ministry of Health, 808,157 children under the age of five were to be vaccinated.

According to ACF’s 2021 biomass production report, the rainy season has been generally poor, leading to a significant deficit in biomass production, especially in Tagant, Hodh El Gharbi, Hodh El Chargui, Assaba, Guidimakha and the Gorgol. Women and children, the most vulnerable to this food insecure situation due to drought, need urgent assistance.

M’Berra camp is currently hosting 68,825 Malian refugees, including 40,590 children as of November 2021. Refugees and host communities needed continued humanitarian assistance to access basic social services.


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