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Burkina Faso

MSF/Caroline Frechard

Médecins Sans Frontières opened new projects in Burkina Faso’s northernmost provinces in 2018, but our efforts to meet the needs of communities near the border with Mali were hampered by violence.

Key medical figures:

  • 8,140 outpatient consultations
  • 2,150 people treated for malaria
  • 380 major surgical interventions

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.

We opened projects in the northern provinces of Soum and Oudalan midway through the year, to increase the provision of emergency healthcare services and assist local and displaced communities in deserted health districts.

We supported three hospitals in Dori, Gorom Gorom and Djibo, reinforcing their emergency room capacity by training staff, rehabilitating buildings and operating theatres, and donating medical equipment and medicines. We fully equipped Gorom Gorom hospital’s emergency room, and deployed a team of surgeons and anaesthetists to increase the capacity of Djibo hospital’s surgical unit.

In addition, we started supporting several rural health centres in Soum and Oudalan, providing free medical care for children with malaria and diarrhoea. However, these activities were repeatedly interrupted due to growing insecurity.

Further south, we continued to support the Ministry of Health in its response to the dengue epidemic that had been declared in Centre region in September 2017. We established a network of facilities to assist with surveillance and diagnose suspected cases, as well as training healthcare staff and helping to set up a contingency plan in the event of a new outbreak.