Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) is building a two-storey maternity and children’s hospital in Nouakchott, the capital city of West African country Mauritania.
ERC started construction of the $544,000 (AED2m) Sheikha Fatima Maternity and Childhood Hospital on the weekend.
The two-story hospital will have 20 beds, an operation theatre, a unit to sterilise aesthetic equipment, emergency care units and a range of multipurpose wards.
It is part of a number of humanitarian development projects in the Middle East and North Africa launched by ERC to improve living standards in the region. Many of its infrastructure projects include building schools in war-torn Yemen, but initiatives have been launched in Mali and the Gaza Strip too in recent years too.
The hospital in Nouakchott was paid for by the Fund for Refugee Women. HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women's Union, president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and supreme chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), and the ERC's honorary chairperson launched the women's fund.
"The hospital is expected to receive 50 cases per day and contribute to reducing neonatal and maternal mortality rates, which are high in Mauritania,” said Dr Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State in a press statement.
“HH Sheikha Fatima's initiatives in maternity and childhood provide basic healthcare services to mothers and children in many regions that lack these services.”
"HH is closely monitoring the conditions of marginalised women and children who are victims of crises and disasters around the world and directing the ERC to address and respond to these challenges and risks facing them by finding creative solutions to secure better living standards," Al Shamsi added.
Dr Mohamed Ateeq Al Falahi, secretary-general of ERC, added: "We hope the hospital will have a direct, far-reaching impact on the lives of women and children.”