Burkina Faso has 27 dermatologists for a population of 19.5 million, 70% of which is concentrated in the country’s two largest cities. Along with two partners, the Foundation is establishing a pilot programme of medical trailers to educate people with albinism and provide access to diagnoses and treatment of skin lesions.
This two-year pilot project is being led by SOBUDEC (the Burkinabé Society of Dermatology, Aesthetics and Cosmetology) in partnership with ABIPA (the Burkinabé Association for the Integration of Albino People) and the Yalgado Ouédraogo University Hospital. It is based on a programme that has been successfully run since 2016 in Mali.
During its pilot phase, the programme is targeting 180 people with albinism living in the Central Eastern region of Burkina Faso. The proposed actions being implemented focus on education in risk prevention and access to diagnosis and treatment of skin lesions using medical trailers. These travelling clinics are organised for three days every four months and involve dermatologists for consultations and minor surgery, nurses for patient registration and routine treatment, as well as facilitators from the association to greet patients and raise awareness.
Training of doctors and healthcare workers
SOBUDEC provided preliminary training sessions in malignant tumour surgery to the country’s 27 dermatologists. Ten GPs and 10 nurses were trained in screening for skin diseases, as well as in patient education and prevention, with five facilitators from ABIPA.
The travelling consultation is completely free and provides minor surgery, cryotherapy and the appliance of dressings, which can be followed up later by the trained nurse and doctor. The cost of treating complications of the disease and patients referral to Ouagadougou will also be funded by the project, including travel, surgery and medication.
Finally, hats and sun creams are also distributed free of charge. After a year, the project expects creams to be produced locally.