Health When city specialists and rural healers join the cause

A common African dilemma hampering health care to a majority of its people is that doctors at times are reluctant to leave the main cities. In Burkina Faso, which counts 0,06 medical doctors per 1 000 inhabitants (Sweden has 5,4), they often get paid per patient. This means the few doctors make very little money working in the countryside.  District hospitals may well have a scheme for visiting specialists but, as many patients waiting in vain have experienced, this tends to be more theory than practice.

A German gift to Yennenga Progress turned into health care where there is no doctor.

However, the small clinic in Nakamtenga increasingly is getting visits from qualified doctors from big hospitals, such as a gynaecologist, a cardiologist, an otorhinolaryngologist*, etc..  Since June 2018, this has become feasible thanks to a grant from a German NGO called Aktion Canchanabury.

The organization, based in Bochum, works in 11 countries around Africa within health but also on social and educational issues. Yennenga came in touch with them via our mutual cooperation with Dr Denis Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC.

Now, also marginalized villagers have been able to see medical specialists regularly. Doctors involved so far have shown a great interest for the project. They are now part of the strategy to develop health care in Nakamtenga at the Dr Denis Mukwege Centre.

Furthermore, the German partner recently donated and shipped a container packed with medical supplies and material to Nakamtenga. Actually, far more than what we can use ourselves. Therefore, in coordination with the district mayor Pascal Compaoré, we have distributed equipment to all 14 hospitals and clinics in the area.

Among recipients, you can also find some well known traditional healers! Simply because they are the first alternative for rural families when needing help with problems like healing and bandaging wounds, as demonstrated above.

Finally, the German container remains on site, now turned into a most useful storeroom.

* A specialist in ears, nose and throat.