Burkina Faso only counts six paediatric surgeons taking care of 7.2 million children. These figures are exemplary for the country's health system. The association "Operieren in Afrika e.V." which translates to "performing surgeries in Africa" is carrying out several projects to improve interdisciplinary medical care.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country's lack of economic power is particularly detrimental to school education and the subsequent training of skilled workers. However, this is absolutely necessary to ensure sufficient medical education and the training of medical personnel. In addition to the lack of medical knowledge, affected patients have to finance their treatments themselves, which hardly any citizen there can afford. For this reason, diseases are not treated or are treated only with considerable delay. This situation is further aggravated by the state clinics, which are inadequately equipped in terms of personnel, technology and logistics.

These general conditions are also reflected in the field of paediatric surgery. In Burkina Faso, 46 % of the population are children (approx. 7.2 million). In the whole country, however, there are only six paediatric surgeons who look after the children. This leads to considerable waiting lists - even for urgent operations. For example, emergency artificial bowel exits (e.g. after typhoid perforations) in children cannot be repositioned in time with a simple operation. The affected children must therefore live with a loss of electrolytes and fluids that is vital under the given climatic conditions for years.

The association "Operieren in Afrika e.V." works together with locals to improve health care in Burkina Faso and give more people access to urgently needed treatments and medicines. In just under 18 years of existence, the association has built a surgical and an obstetrics clinic and trained the necessary clinical staff on site. So far, more than 11,000 patients have been treated and almost 2,000 operations were performed. The association is financed purely by donations and is therefore grateful for any support. 

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We greatly appreciate the work of the association and have therefore supported the projects for several years, as we did last year with a marLED® V operating light. 

After several weeks of container transport, the marLED® V was installed independently by the surgical team on site and has been in active use ever since. We are pleased to be able to make a small contribution to the mission of the association and the clinic and are really impressed by so much commitment. Thank you very much for your continued efforts to improve health care in Africa!


More details on the projects

Surgical Hospital

The hospital "Clinique Sedogo" takes care of the basic surgical care of the local population within a radius of about 300 km. The clinic has 14 beds, a fully equipped surgical wing with a modern sterilization unit, a recovery room, an emergency room, a delivery room and various monitoring rooms. Currently, the 17 African employees of the clinic treat about 320 patients per month. Patients pay fees for the treatments and operations which are significantly lower than those of the state clinics. 

In addition, European specialists travel several times a year for short assignments, where they carry out complex surgical, urological, gynaecological, paediatric and plastic surgery operations free of charge together with their African colleagues on site. In addition, the African doctors and nurses receive intensive training during these short assignments. 

The technical equipment as well as the hygienic standards of the clinic exceed by far the usual level of state clinics. In addition to the technology and compliance with hygiene standards, sustainability aspects were also taken into account during construction. The clinic is designed according to ecological principles - by using special sustainable building materials and architectural design, a natural air conditioning of the building is achieved, 90% of the necessary electricity is obtained from solar energy, the waste water is disposed of via a biological treatment plant so that the cleaned water can be used for watering the garden; by drilling a deep well, the clinic is self-sufficient in terms of water supply. There is also a waste incineration plant.

Obstetrics Clinic

In 2018, the surgical clinic was extended by an obstetrics clinic in order to be able to perform caesarean sections on site under ideal conditions. In the first year alone, the clinic recorded over 800 births. In addition, trained midwives provide intensive care for mothers around the clock.

School project and partnerships

In addition to the two clinics, the association also supports a nearby state school with around 450 pupils. Among other things, the construction of the building, a library and the installation of a solar system and a well were financed. Furthermore, the association provides the children with a daily lunch. Special support is given to 246 sponsored children who have to grow up without parents or whose parents have no income.

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