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MSF in Burkina Faso, 2011
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A hostile climate and fluctuating prices both limit the availability of food for many people in Burkina Faso. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in the north of the country, operating free nutrition programs for children under five.
Teams in Loroum province treat children for malnutrition and also provide basic healthcare at 11 outpatient programs and one inpatient center at the hospital in the provincial capital Titao. Activities in five health centres in Yako were gradually handed over to the United Nations Children’s Fund as it became more involved in child health in the town.
MSF cared for children with a range of conditions, the most common being diarrhea, malaria and respiratory infections. Patients were also offered routine vaccination.
Malaria is the main cause of sickness and death in Burkina Faso, especially among under-fives, and between July and December the number of cases spikes. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, MSF treated malaria patients in Titao hospital year-round, and extended treatment activities to outlying health centers during the malaria season. Staff tended to some 820 patients.
In total, almost 4,500 children received treatment in 2011. Since 2007, when the program began, staff have tended to more than 55,400 children. MSF has begun exploring possibilities for new programs in the country: the malaria epidemic in the south of the country, increasing political unrest, growing insecurity close to the border due to fighting in neighboring Mali and fears of a particularly acute malnutrition crisis were all cause for concern as 2012 began.
At the end of 2011, MSF had 215 staff in Burkina Faso. MSF has been working in the country since 1995.