Burkina Faso: Helping street children

MSF organizes meetings with teenage girls to raise awareness about health issues related to prostitution. It has also trained local health groups to treat sexually transmitted infections and started a medical program for survivors of sexual violence. Advocacy is a key part of MSF's work with street children. Since August 2003, the organization has held 65 information sessions on the predicament facing these young people. A total of 85,550 people living around Ouagadougou have taken part and watched the MSF movie "The Streets Are Not Paradise." Information sessions have also been held in schools and at the national police academy. The national television station has broadcast the movie twice. In the remote town of Sindou in Leraba province, MSF advocates for improved health care by raising awareness of health issues among the residents and by supporting their demands for quality care. MSF focuses particularly on maternal and child health care. The team provides assistance to seven regions in Sindou: Wolonkoto, Bagera, Niassogon, Negueni, Oueleni, Kangoura and Konadougou. Burkina Faso is facing a growing AIDS epidemic. In order to help those with the illness, MSF runs a project to improve the quality and duration of life for HIV-positive people living in the health district of Pissy in Ouagadougou. Now 1,300 patients are enrolled in the program and receive medical care for opportunistic infections. A program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus started in January 2003 and is now operating in two maternity centers. In April 2003, MSF started providing life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as well. By the end of 2004, MSF hopes to have 600 HIV-positive patients enrolled. In early 2004, MSF was able to help halt a meningitis outbreak in the district of Nanoro by vaccinating 135,000 people against the less common W135 strain of meningitis. MSF has worked in Burkina Faso since 1995. International Staff: 11 National Staff: 89