As one of the world’s 10 least-developed countries, Burkina Faso has a record rate of sickle cell disease: 2% of newborns will suffer from major syndromes. Yet no national programme has been implemented to fight this scourge. As a result, most cases are discovered too late, based on complications from the disease.
In 2014, Fondation Pierre Fabre signed a partnership with the Comité d’Initiative contre la Drépanocytose au Burkina (Sickle Cell Disease Initiative Committee in Burkina or CID/B), a non-profit organisation that has been very active since 2006. Together, starting in 2015 and over a three-year period, they will implement a project of unprecedented magnitude in the country, built upon three objectives. The first objective is to raise awareness by creating a dedicated information centre (see above photo of an information session and screening). The second is to improve access to care by creating a pilot centre inside Saint Camille Hospital in Ouagadougou, the main activities of which will be doctor’s visits, a day clinic and orthopaedic surgery. The last is to offer systematic neonatal diagnosis in the Saint Camille Hospital maternity ward. Because only screening done before the age of six months can effectively reduce the Sickle cell disease mortality rate. Biological analyses will be performed by the Haemoglobin Diagnostic Reference Laboratory at the University of Ouagadougou.
For each of these objectives, the CID/B manages the day-to-day tasks and administration and the Foundation provides logistical and financial support. It purchases items such as equipment and medical material for each structure, including the University’s haematology laboratory. Based on its experience in other countries on the continent, it also advises the CID/B on its communications initiatives and new partnerships.