The Resident Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Burkina, Dr. Alimata Diarra/Nama, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, Andrea Romussi, proceeded this Tuesday, October 5th, 2021, to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, in the presence of the Minister of Health, Professor Charlemagne Ouédraogo. By initialing the documents, the Italian government, through its Agency for Development Cooperation, makes available to WHO two funds for multisectoral support to the Ministry of Health.
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The first funding is for the project “Support to the health system of Burkina Faso for universal access to health”
According to the Minister of Health, Prof. Charlemagne Ouédraogo, this contribution aims to secure funding for WHO to support his department in a multisectoral approach to address a number of challenges in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, hypertension, which are diseases that pose problems in Burkina Faso. These diseases pose problems in Burkina and will pose even more problems in the future if nothing is done today, warned Pr Ouédraogo.
In this sense, Burkina Faso has been implementing, since 2020, the WHOPEN strategy, which is a care package intended for CSPS for the management of the main NCDs. With the support of WHO and the Republic of Italy, the implementation of WHOPEN will be extended to two additional regions, namely the North and the Centre-South regions. The Minister announced that through the project to support the Burkina health system for universal access to health, doctors, nurse-midwives and community-based health workers will be equipped to counsel, screen, and treat diabetes and hypertension.
In addition, this project aims to strengthen the technical platform of the Saint Camille Hospital in the areas of medical and surgical emergencies and specialized medicine in Ouagadougou, through the adoption of a computerized system for the management of patient records, improved equipment, and the strengthening of the security system of this hospital structure.
The amount allocated to this project is estimated at approximately $2.5 million (1.4 billion CFA francs) for a period of 24 months from October 2021 to October 2023. It covers Ouagadougou (Centre Region), the health districts of Ouahigouya (North Region), and Kombissiri (Centre-South Region).
The second funding from the Italian government strengthens Burkina’s measles/rubella vaccine security stockpile to prepare the country to respond rapidly to any response immunization needs. This funding has enabled the acquisition of nearly 397,500 doses of measles/rubella vaccine for 400,000 children aged 0-59 months living in Burkina; 800,000 syringes and 500 safety boxes, for an amount valued at approximately $354,000 (200 million CFA francs).
Italy considers that the population’s access to health care is an essential element in a country. This is why Italy has released financial manna to support the sector. “For us, it is very important to support the population’s access to health care. Not only in Ouagadougou but also in the Center-South and North regions. It is important to diversify. Until now, we have focused on the fight against malaria and other diseases. Now we are focusing on non-transmissible diseases,” explained the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, Andrea Romussi.
For her part, the WHO Resident Representative in Burkina, Dr. Alimata Diarra/Nama, was pleased to be in the forefront of providing this programmatic and structural support to the Ministry of Health. This confidence in WHO makes her accountable for the use that will be made of this investment of $2.83 million (1.6 billion CFA francs) which will consist of “strengthening what is being done in the fight against non-communicable diseases, particularly with regard to hypertension and diabetes; the vaccination of children with regard to measles and rubella, but also the strengthening of the technical platform of the Saint Camille Hospital,” said Dr. Diarra. She concluded her speech on a positive note: “We can assure that it will be put to good use and that there will be significant results in terms of improving the health of the population.”
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First published in lefaso.net, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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