Real lives

Real lives


Child Survival Days in Burkina Faso

© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2007/Nduita J.J.
A child receiving Vitamin A supplementation

Child Survival Days in Burkina Faso

By Jean Jacques NDUITA

Bogande, Burkina Faso - 7 November 2007 - Riding on their bicycles with their newborn – some of which are even being breastfed – women from Bilanga in Eastern Burkina Faso and neighboring areas, are joining the local health post to participate in the Child Survival Day. Some of them traveled for over 100 km to have their children immunized.

Hawa Ouedraogo is one of them.
“I left home at around 4 in the morning to reach the health post since my village is located forty kilometers away from here. This is harvest time, there is always a lot to do, but the well-being of my newborn is worth the sacrifice”, she says while breastfeeding her one-year old child.

The Child Survival Day here starts with an awareness-raising session. Women are told about the importance of timely immunization, prenatal consultation, proper nutrition and malaria prevention.

In addition to the content that the package of the health day usually offers – routine vaccination, BCG vaccination, polio and Tetanus immunization, as well as Ante Natal Care - deworming tablets, vitamin A supplementation and impregnated mosquito nets to protect mothers and children under five from malaria have been added.

The child survival days have made is possible to identify the children who have never been immunized. This significantly improved the provision of vitamin A and deworming tablets. The success of the 2007 child survival days in Bogande health district, as well as in other selected districts, has been possible thanks to the involvement and the commitment of the administrative authorities.

In Burkina Faso the rate of children under one dying before their fifth anniversary is getting higher. Most of them die from malaria, measles, various infections, malnutrition or AIDS. The situation is worse in rural areas because of rampant poverty and poor knowledge of basic nutrition guidelines. “In Bogande district, poverty prevents most of the women from taking their children to the hospital when they are sick”
, says Sawadogo Mahamadi, the Health Post nurse. “When they finally decide to take the children to the hospital, it’s too late. We are unable to help”.




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