Real lives

Real lives


Reaching the most vulnerable, the way of fairness

© UNICEF/Burkina Faso/2015/Tarpilga
Mira lying on his mat and held by his mother (seated) and her elder sister

By Claude Tarpilga

Mira is 18 years old. With her parents she got back from Ivory Coast in 2007, following the political crisis happened in 2002 in this country. Mireille is the fifth of the family. She suffers from a hydrocephalus that is an outgrowth containing liquid in the head which resulted to make her invalid. Yet Mira was normally born. "When I was pregnant I was regularly going to consult and everything was normal" said Anna, her mother.
Six months after his birth, Mira’s head began to undergo deformation that will be the cause of his disability with a partial paralysis of limbs and an intellectual downturn with memory disorders.

In Toumodi, Ivory Coast, where she lived with her parents, Mira received medical care but her condition remained stationary. The doctor asserted that medical monitoring concluded that the solution would be to risk a surgical procedure. Mira's parents renounced it and opted for a paramedical treatment. But the situation of the patient didn’t improve.

Mira lives in Ouagadougou, sector 17. The morning upon waking, her mother helped by her two eldest daughters make her take a bath and breakfast. Then they bring her out and install her on a mat on the terrace where she spends all the day. "She often has seizures. And when she needed something, she calls us. We manage so that there is someone at her side to help ", said Nina, one of the elder sisters.
Mira's mother is housewife. Her father runs a small metal welding workshop to meet the needs of the family. Coping with daily needs is a challenge for him. Family savings are, for the most part, used for Mira’s treatment.

Informed about the existence of a support center, Mira's parents have resorted to Arche de Nongr-Massem for her rehabilitation and psycho-social care.
The community of the Arche de Nongr-Massom is a confessional structure that works to promote medico-psychosocial and socio-professional integration of children with intellectual disabilities. Created in 1978, the Arche implements all forms of assistance to children and adults with intellectual disabilities by creating onsite workshops to meet their specific needs and ensuring home assistance service to accompany families through parental guidance.

The general census of children with disabilities in Burkina Faso conducted in 2013 with UNICEF support made a global estimate of 79,617 children with disabilities. Only 39% receive support mainly from immediate circle, NGOs and religious structures, leaving 2 children with disabilities out of 3 without support from external sources to the immediate family.

© UNICEF/Burkina Faso/2015/Tarpilga
Mr.Marc Rubin, Burkina Faso UNICEF Representative visiting a mentally handicapped child receiving home support services provided by the Arche of Nongr-Massem

UNICEF approach focused on equity targets children and the poorest and most vulnerable families. Thus the Arche has received financial support from UNICEF in 2014 for medical and psychosocial care and socio-professional integration of children with intellectual disabilities.
As part of this partnership, a visit of the center was conducted on October 22, 2015 by Marc Rubin, UNICEF Representative. This visit has allowed the Representative to appreciate the work of the Arche in response to the specific needs of children with intellectual disabilities
Thus, thanks to UNICEF support to the Arche, Mira's mother was able to benefit, in 2014, food and financial support to initiate in income-generating activities to support her daughter’s care. The support has also helped to ensure continuously medical and psycho-social following to other disabled children at home. "Thanks to UNICEF we have set up a project for parents. This season, they conducted themselves gardening activities that have given substantial income, "said Ms. Gilberte Ilboudo, the director of the center.

The UNICEF Representative, following his visit reiterated UNICEF's commitment to support the efforts of the Arche community in the promotion of medical and psychosocial support for children with mental disability.



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