- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Burkina Faso, 2006
All articles on Burkina Faso »
People living in the poor West African nation of Burkina Faso have an average life expectancy of approximately 48 years. About 90 per cent of people earn their livelihood through subsistence agriculture, mostly cotton, in a country vulnerable to drought and desertification. Lack of access to safe and clean water is a problem for much of the population and the risk of infectious diseases is high.
MSF regularly intervenes to provide medical care during health emergencies. In 2005 there was a cholera outbreak from mid-August to November in the capital city of Ouagadougou. MSF worked in a cholera treatment center, where it was involved in the treatment of 1050 people who had contracted the water-borne disease.
Photo © Anthony Jacopucci
Meningitis is endemic in Burkina Faso and epidemics tend to break out during the major dry season, from January to March. In March 2006, the situation was particularly worrying, with the number of meningitis cases climbing to over 2000 persons in just seven weeks. MSF worked with the Ministry of Health to carry out a vaccination campaign and provided supervisory personnel, vaccine supplies and logistical support. In the districts of Banfora and Sindou, MSF teams managed the vaccination campaign and helped safeguard 400,000 people against this disease through immunisation.
Supplying patients with HIV treatment
In Ouagadougou, MSF has an established HIV/AIDS project in the Pissy health district, where an average of 1600 medical consultations are provided each month. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has been supplied to patients since April 2003, and approximately 85 new patients start treatment monthly. Approximately 3500 patients will be on ART by the end of 2006.
Health support for teenage street girls
Ouagadougou has a thriving sex trade and MSF has been offering health education and healthcare for teenage street girls since 2005. Services include treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), obstetrical care and psychological support for survivors of sexual violence. There are also efforts to improve the legal protection available to these teenagers. MSF trains local health workers so they are able to treat girls with STIs. By July 2006, the project had reached 300 teenagers.
MSF also provided medical care and psychological assistance to 700 of the capital's street children over the past seven years. A local organization took on this project in April 2006.
MSF has worked in Burkina Faso since 1995.