How MSF is fighting COVID-19 in Burkina Faso
MSF is still working at the COVID-19 treatment center in Ouagadougou with outpatient follow-up, epidemiological surveillance, and contract tracing and awareness raising activities within the community. In Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s second-largest city, we began six-weeks of support to local health authorities in one of the city’s community treatment centers. The team concluded their work at the end of February, but the oxygen machine they set up remains in place for the patients in need.
In several parts of the country, we continue to follow the epidemiological situation, as concerns remain high in the northern, north-central, and eastern parts of the country, which all host large numbers of displaced people. We have adapted triage and infection prevention and control measures in the health facilities we support, set up isolation units, and trained staff in COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Within our projects, our teams are still providing awareness sessions to the communities.
Burkina Faso experienced an upsurge in violence in 2019, leading to mass displacement and severely restricting access to health services in the affected regions.
Civilians were caught up in clashes between armed groups and the security forces, particularly in the Sahel region bordering Mali, where thousands were forced to flee their homes. In the capital, Ouagadougou, coordinated attacks were launched on the French embassy and Burkina Faso's military headquarters, leaving 30 people dead. Learn how you can best help in Burkina Faso and other countries.
In early January 2019, violent clashes in Yirgou in the north of Burkina Faso forced thousands of people to flee. The violence, involving both communal and religious armed groups, quickly escalated. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams, who were already in the Sahel region to support emergency rooms and operating theaters in the medical facilities of Gorom-Gorom and Djibo, rapidly responded in Barsalogho and Foubé in central Burkina Faso, providing basic health care for host communities and displaced people.
According to the authorities, close to 100 health centers had to cease activities altogether and many more could only function at reduced capacity. Increasing insecurity made it hard for remote communities to access the remaining health services in towns, and for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. Please donate to support our work in Burkina Faso and other countries around the world now.
Despite security challenges, our teams had scaled up assistance by mid-2019, and started medical activities and water trucking in Titao and Ouindigui in the Nord region, as well as in Fada-Ngourma, Matiakoali and Gayéri in the east of the country.
At the end of the year, teams were deployed to the four most conflict-affected regions to provide basic health care, shelter, and relief items such as jerrycans, soap, and mosquito nets to local communities and displaced people. We rehabilitated water pumps, dug boreholes, and trucked in more than 8.3 million liters (2 million gallons) of drinking water.
In the capital, Ouagadougou, we continued to run a dengue fever project, which assists with surveillance, staff training and preparedness in the event of a new outbreak.