Health

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Good health is essential for a family to survive. With 45% of the population living on or below the poverty line any additional drain on finances can be disastrous. Poverty and illness are interdependent. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to suffer from preventable disease. The more unwell you are, the less you can provide for yourself and for your family and poverty worsens.300,000 children under the age of 5 die each year in Burkina Faso from the effects of poverty, which includes malnutrition and preventable disease. This is the equivalent of over 2% of the population in our country dying every year from conditions that are easily within our power to prevent or cure.Sub-Saharan Africa is the only part of the world where child mortality rate (the number of children dying per year) is increasing. The mortality rate for children aged 0-5 years in Burkina Faso is unacceptably high at 185 deaths per 1000 live births. The mortality rate for children under 1 year old is 83 per 1000. As a comparison, the mortality rate in the UK for children under 1 year of age is 4.7 per 1000.Depending on sources, only 30-50% of people in Burkina Faso have access to clean drinking water, a major influence on health and life expectancy.

Aid to Burkina is currently involved in 3 main areas of healthcare.  

1. Provision of medication

Thanks to generous donations from people like you we are able to send medication to government approved clinicians who give the medication to ill people either free, or for next to no cost.

2. Building and staffing medical clinics

Following a visit to the village of Bana 14km South west of Bobo-Dioulasso in 2008 we began building our first Medical Clinic. Costing approximately £8000 we were able to complete a substantial building that has a small dispensary and 3 clinical rooms plus a sheltered waiting area as well as accomodation for a Nurse and for the guard. Electricity is supplied by a portable generator. Minor surgical equipment has been provided and sterilisation of equipment is provided by an autoclave.

Thanks to generous help from the Rotary Club of Great Britain through the local members we have since been able to supply this building with clean water and toilet facilities.

The local population of several thousand have no health care provision whatsoever and have had to rely on traditional cures and the advice of the witchdoctor. When we visited Bana in February 2008 and were invited to meet with some of the Elders of the village, one of the Elders told us that he was pleased that we had come to his house because it showed him that the ‘world had not forgotten about them’. Our visit had given him hope, so we decided we would name the clinic we were going to build “Hope Dispensary” – because we wanted them to know that Hope was something they should never be without.

If you would like to contribute to this and other Medical projects please contact us at contact@aidtoburkina.org.uk 

3. Water projects

We take clean drinking water for granted. Just turn on the tap and out it comes. In Burkina Faso clean water is a luxury many people are without. Simple wells dry up a few months after the end of the rainy season and it is not uncommon for villagers to have to wait for several hours before there is enough water at the bottom of the well to fill their bucket.

Climate change has only made the situation worse. In the dry season the wells run out earlier in the season making the daily search for water a time of increasing anxiety, while in the rainy season floods pull human and animal waste into the water supply increasing the risk of water-borne diseases. In a country where 50% of the population have access to clean drinking water but only 15% have access to sanitation the risk of contamination is very high throughout the year.

Dirty water causes disease, and the most vulnerable are the very young and the malnourished. Aid to Burkina has so far repaired one well in the village of Kogoma where the government well had broken and the village did not have enough combined wealth to repair it: and, thanks to a generous gift from the West Africa Trust, has dug a large well in the village of Yabasso which will provide clean drinking water throughout the year.

In the village of Guinkere, thanks to a donation from a local business, we were able to supply a village fo several thousand people with a source of fresh water. The villagers told us that before we had provided the well many villagers were regularly unwell through drinking dirty water. The older women in the village were particularly grateful as they were now able to access water easily without having to travel miles to find it in the dry season.

A local Youth group are helping raise funds for a clean water source for the Dorcas centre. Currently they pay over £300 per month for water for the 160 students and staff who work in the Dorcas Centre and a well will enable this money to be used on education rather than on water provision.

We are currently raising money with the help of Rotary to dig a well in Dande, a village recently in need of international aid because of flooding.