Burkina Faso/Combating malaria and dengue fever: Distribution of medicines and raising public awareness, an offensive that is producing concrete results
The national chemoprevention campaign against seasonal malaria, combined with anti-larval campaigns, took place from September 14 to 17, 2023 (nationwide, with more than three million children aged between 3 and 59 months involved in the first phase; the anti-larval campaign was limited to Ouaga and Bobo). In Ouagadougou (Centre region), Oubriyaoghin (Plateau-central) and Sakuilga (Centre-sud region), people were relieved and satisfied.
The Minister of Health and Public Hygiene and his delegation officially launched the campaign in the Centre region of Ouagadougou. this campaign (from September 14 to 17, 2023) to distribute medicines to children aged 3 months to 59 months, coupled with the destruction of larval breeding grounds. The launch was followed by household visits, during which Minister Kargougou himself administered the drugs to children Kargougou himself administered the drugs to the children, and took a closer look at the progress with the teams working in the field throughout the country. At each stage, he also gave advice to families on hygiene, the use of impregnated mosquito nets in the home, and the importance of promptly consulting a health professional in the event of suspicious symptoms.
The Ministry's proactive approach "is a very good thing, and the results are palpable", confides a health specialist we met in the field. "It's a package of actions that are being rolled out by the Ministry, and which even take adults into account. For example, we support pregnant women from pregnancy to delivery, and distribute impregnated mosquito nets free of charge. Larval destruction, i.e. destroying mosquito eggs (if they are destroyed, there are no more mosquitoes) is well thought out. The teams go into the concessions, checking to see if there is any water that has been stagnant for three days; these are mosquito nests, where the mosquitoes lay their eggs. If this is the case, they dump the water and turn the containers upside down, so that even if it rains, the water no longer stagnates there. If we do this for a while, you'll see that in families, cases of malaria will be very rare", he insisted, urging the Ministry and its partners to keep up the momentum.
The tour continued the following day, Friday September 15, in the Plateau-central region, where the official delegation headed for the village of Oubriyaoghin, some seven kilometers from Ziniaré (regional capital). Here too, Dr Robert Kargougou and his colleagues, together with staff from the village's CSPS, visited households to administer products to children of age, and carried out awareness-raising campaigns.
On this second day of the campaign, the dynamic was also satisfactory in this locality, auguring good results. Hence the congratulations and encouragement from the department's chief executive, Dr Kargougou, who took the opportunity to respond to a number of grievances submitted by the managers of the CSPS (Health and Social Promotion Centre) in the area.
It should be pointed out in passing that the destruction of larval breeding sites only concerns (for this campaign) the cities of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. It is intended as a pilot phase and is motivated by the prevalence of dengue fever in these two cities.
In Sakuilga, a village some ten kilometers from Manga (the capital of the Centre-sud region), where a delegation from the Ministry visited on Saturday, September 16, the district chief physiciandecin chef de district, Dr Inoussa Sawadogo, and his team were well on the offensive... and strategies are being developed to overcome the difficulties encountered. "In our district, we have over 180 villages and more than 40 farming hamlets. There are inaccessible areas and farming hamlets where people travel to do sometimes five months of farming, so we can't find them at home. So we have to go to the fields or places where we know we can find the children. We adapt to the terrain and develop strategies.e in the fields", explains Dr Sawadogo, as he leaves an administration office in the Bouda family, in Tampelga, a farming hamlet located in the health area of the Sakuilga CSPS.
"Yesterday (Friday, September 15), we were at 70% of the target. The total will be reached," he says, noting that the total number of children concerned in the district is 69,670.
According to Dr Inoussa Sawadogo, the district's chief health officer, some 700 community distributors have been mobilized, covering 181 villages and some 40 farming hamlets in the Manga health district.
"I have three children, all of whom have received the medicines. Two have just passed the age limit, and one is still going, because he's still in the age group concerned by the distribution. At each visit, they (the health teams, editor's note) explain and give us lots of advice. Frankly, since my children have been taking the medicines and we've also been following the advice (we've been told to sleep under mosquito nets, to keep our environment clean), we haven't had a case of malaria in our home. Another disease, I'm not saying no, but no malaria. We really thank God for this, and we thank the authorities, and hope that God will give them the strength to carry on like this to help the people," says Mamounata Sawadogo, who we met in front of her shop in the Nagrin district of Ouagadougou.
Like the Bourgou family, Mr. Zoungrana was present when a team of health workers visited his compound.), they administered medicines to two of her children before receiving practical advice on how to identify and destroy larval breeding sites.
While this phase of the campaign came to an end on Sunday September 17, 2023, hygiene and the use of impregnated mosquito nets remain an everyday recommendation.