Monthly Activity Report: May 2020: “ Aid and Health initiative for vulnerable populations in the Northern region” (ASPD-Nord_2020) _ Aid & Save_Aid and Health Initiative

The Aid and Health initiative for vulnerable populations in the Northern Region (ASPD-Nord_2020), was funded by Aid & Save since March 2020. The project is implemented by Help and Health Initiative (HHI), an organization of young medical students from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ouahigouya.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Burkina Faso, HHI conducted a series of activities aiming at protecting the most vulnerable in the northern Region, Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso, from the deadly virus. The activity was conducted between March and April 2020. During the month of May 2020, HHI had set 2 main objectives. First, to provide free healthcare (consultation and treatment) to orphans and vulnerable children of the Budyam Association for the Protection of Children (ABPE) as well as to children living on the street. Those children were previously visited and tested as part of preventing COVID-19. The second objective was to conduct a series of awareness-raising, training, exchange and donation activities with young girls, about sexual and reproductive health in collaboration with the Bibir Association, formerly a reference in this domain. Because the Bibir Association was no longer covering the topic in its mission, HHI redefined its approach. At the end of the period, 6 major activities were carried out. The observation on the ground showed great results.

1- Awareness raising, training about sexual and reproductive health and donations to the girls of the Center for the Care of Children in Need (CAED).

Number of working hours: 90

Number of people reached: 20

The CAED is an organization that works to facilitate the adoption of Children in need and orphans in Burkina Faso. The organization is registered by law under the decree N ° 2010–616 / PRES / PM / MASSN of 12 October 2010 regulating the creation and operating conditions of Centers for Children in Distress. There are dozens of similar organizations across the country.

Given that HHI is a referential organization in terms of general care practices, the approach to working with CAED was more than legitimate. A set of planned activities covered 4 different sessions with around 20 participants in each session, all aged between 13 and 20. These educational sessions took place on May 18, 20, 22, and 27, 2020 for an average of two (02) hours per session. The main topics are the followings:

Session 1: Gender & Abortions

- Gender issues: Definition, Comparative analysis of gender issues and perceptions according to culture, link with sex, gender-related impacts and health consequences of gender-related perceptions, news on gender issues, WHO guidelines with regards to gender.

- Abortion which is a public health problem is considered a crime in Burkina Faso and punishable by law. This topic covered the key aspects of abortion (definition, types, causes), the 4 exceptional situations authorized by law, complications, signs of spontaneous abortion, psychological assistance and other consequences.

Session 2: Early and unwanted pregnancies

Session 3: The Menstrual Cycle

Session 4: Female genital mutilation (including female circumcision)

The girls showed a great interest in the topics. However, at times, the attendance level was considered low. The reason is that some girls live in very remote areas and have to cover the distance on foot or bikes.The HHI team was assisted by some staff members of the Center. This also served as a source of encouragement to the girls, who could see the staff members involved. In addition to the training, HHI made a donation to the center, which included a box of sanitary napkins, hydroalcoholic gel and face protection masks. The Director of the Center, very thrilled, addressed her gratitude to the HHI Team through a Thank You letter and expressed her availability for future collaborations.

2. Free health care for orphans and vulnerable children of the Budyam Association for Child Protection (ABPE)

Number of children beneficiaries : 43

Number of working hours: 85

On April 26, 2020, as part of its anti — COVID-19 plan, the HHI visited ABPE and has identified several health care needs which have also been expressed by the organization. The HHI team has identified health care needs (see article).

After a month, on May 25, 2020, the HHI team, supported by Aid & Save held a free health care activity including consultations and treatment, for the benefit of 43 children.

The HHI team first proceeded to purchase drugs which the pathologic effect on children was safer. Some of these drugs include antimalarials, rapid diagnostic tests, deworming agents, etc. They also invited the guardians of the children to attend the session, in coordination with the President of the association.

On the day of the activity, 4 groups were formed to provide specific health care services to the children. The order of the services was as followed:

Group 1: In charge of welcoming and constants (height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, etc.)

Group 2: Responsible for reporting the child’s basic information and facts on a donated health book provided to them free of charge by HHI.

Group 3 is made up of 2 doctors who provide the consultation service. They also provided prescriptions and reports to be made in the notebook.

Finally, Group 4, which is responsible for administering the prescribed treatment to the child and performing rapid diagnostic tests. Thereafter, the child was given, in the presence of his guardian, a drug which can be a deworming, an antimalarial, an antibiotic or other.

At the end of the activity, 43 children have benefited from full health care. Some of the children had no major health problems. For those children, The HHI team therefore administered deworming pills. The rest of the pathologies are cases of simple malaria, skin infections which result in small wounds in the head and limbs, cases of ringworm, severe acute malnutrition (these cases were referred to the CHR), rhinitis (colds and complications with cough), cases of loss of appetite (to which they prescribed vitamin and supplements), cases of yeast infections of the buttocks (antimycotic), conjunctivitis (eye infections that turn red-black with pus treated with antibiotics) and systematic deworming.

2 additional types of cas have been identified: children with signs of mental retardation and congenital malformation with motor disability. For those cases, the HHI team was unable to treat as they do not represent an emergency, compared to the previous cases. The team plans to conduct a follow-up visit in 2 weeks. They received the blessings and the warm acknowledgments of the President of the association and the donors.

3. Free health care for children living in the street.

Number of working hours: 50

Number of beneficiaries reached: 30

Similarly to the children of ABPE, the children living in the street of the city of Ouahigouya who had previously received a visit from the HHI Team on April 29, 2020 (see article), have received health check and care as part of the May 2020, activity plan.

However, HHI encountered several difficulties regarding the attendance. In fact, an unlucky event occurred in the neighborhood, thus preventing most children from attending the rest of the session. The HHI team nethertheless, carried out the activity with the remaining 30 children as at least 20 of them left before the end. The team performed consultation and provided treatment to those who were sick. The team will return to the street, to distribute additional doses of drugs.

Report by: Achille Sawadogo and HHI team

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Achille Sawadogo

Achille Sawadogo

Mandela Washington Fellow, for Young African Leaders — Civic engagement — Development Cooperation, Economist, Project Management skills, Free learner