Giving Compass' Take:

• Hassan Maiyaki, writing for Doctors Without Borders, discusses how the organization (along with others) will try to strengthen preventative measures to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso. 

• There are concerns about a lack of medical resources and expertise in Burkina Faso right now. What are the ways to mitigate these challenges, and how can donors help strengthen the humanitarian response? 

• Learn about the funds needed to combat COVID-19 in Africa. 

The new coronavirus disease has long since reached Burkina Faso, with nine out of 13 regions of the country now affected. The first cases occurred on 9 March in the capital Ouagadougou and others followed quickly. By mid-April, according to the Centre for Emergency Health Response Operations (CORUS), there were more than 500 confirmed cases and 30 deaths in Burkina Faso.

The indirect consequences of the coronavirus pandemic could take the emergency situation to a new level.
Although 95 percent of known chains of infection are located in the capital, the situation in other parts of the country remains very worrying. Burkina Faso is already facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis marked by violence and displacement.

There are more than 800,000 internally displaced people in the country and the UN estimates that more than two million people will need humanitarian help this year. The majority of these people live in poor conditions, with insufficient access to clean water or medical care and many other problems. Even the humanitarian aid provided so far has not been sufficient. Until a few weeks ago, the most urgent task was to increase this aid in order to gain access to remote areas.

One of our priorities is to strengthen preventive measures: health education, for example, explaining how to wash hands properly, setting up isolation wards and road maps within the health facilities, with the aim of preventing further infections. The restrictions imposed to limit the global spread of COVID-19 pose significant challenges for humanitarian organisations.

We need both experienced local and international personnel to carry out our work. But at the moment our ability to send colleagues to Burkina Faso is limited, at a time when we are facing several challenges at once. We are concerned that the supply of medical resources and medicines will become more difficult due to international restrictions.

Read the full article about COVID-19 threatens Burkina Faso by Hassan Maiyaki at Doctors Without Borders.