Initially dedicated to the prevention and treatment of noma, a rapidly progressive facial necrosis affecting many Burkinabe children, the Foundation’s support for the Persis Paediatric Medical and Surgical Centre (CMCPP) expanded in 2018, with two principal missions:
- prevention and treatment of oral disease;
- treatment of severe and moderate malnutrition through the CMCPP’s Nutritional Education and Recovery Centre.
These areas of involvement address two decisive factors in preventing noma (oral hygiene and nutrition) and respond to the urgent threat posed by armed conflicts, which have led to renewed food shortages, with young children being the first to suffer. Burkina Faso, one of Africa’s poorest countries, is facing new waves of violence, particularly in the isolated northern regions where the Persis Paediatric Medical and Surgical Centre is located.
COMPREHENSIVE PAEDIATRIC SUPPORT
The CMCPP was founded in 2004 in Ouahigouya, in the northern region of Burkina Faso, by the Persis Burkina Association, an NGO working in health, education, vocational training, and family and social reintegration. The CMCPP provides low-cost preventive, curative, and rehabilitative paediatric care. Its mission is also to promote healthcare-related training and education. The centre added a maternity ward and neonatal department in 2018, which handled more than 1,000 deliveries in 2020.
Beyond direct patient treatment, the CMCPP provides:
- an external medical monitoring system after patients return to family;
- prevention initiatives in schools and orphanages and awareness-raising through public events; and
- social support (school fees and food) for underprivileged children and their families.
AN UNWAVERING COMMITMENT
In 2020, these field activities were disrupted by security issues, which caused substantial population displacements, further worsened by the Covid-19 epidemic. Despite these major challenges, the CMCPP continues to provide quality healthcare for poor and at-risk populations. This unwavering day-to-day commitment was in large part thanks to Dr Lassara Zala, founder of the Persis Paediatric Medical and Surgical Centre, who received the Burkinabe Order of Merit in 2020.