People's beliefs, social taboos and a sense of fatalism mean people with disabilities in Burkina Faso are often shunned. HI defends their fundamental rights and helps people with disabilities to access education.
Reading in class, HI Burkina Faso | © HI
Actions in process
In 1990, the programme in Burkina Faso was HI's first mission in West Africa. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, the organisation converted an orthopaedic fitting centre for veterans into a national orthopaedic fitting centre. It then went on to support the development of other rehabilitation centres. Today, the organisation is facilitating the setting up of a regional functional rehabilitation network and this network’s integration into the national health system. HI is therefore training health and functional rehabilitation professionals: over 120 nurses, healthcare personnel, ortho-prosthetic technicians and rehabilitation or orthopaedic assistants have already benefited from this training.
Although efforts have been made in Burkina Faso, people with disabilities are often confined to the margins of society, right from the earliest days of their childhood. They have no access to education or professional training, two areas HI has been working on in order to improve their living conditions.
The organisation promotes and values initiatives which aim to ensure the fundamental rights of people with disabilities are upheld: the right to receive care, to work, to attend school etc. Through its education project, HI therefore facilitates children with disabilities' access to primary school places. In order to ensure the sustainability of this project, the organisation is training and raising the awareness of actors in the disability and inclusive education sectors.
Since 2016, HI leads a project to prevent developmental delays and disabilities among children affected by malnutrition, using physiotherapy and physical and emotional stimulation (through parents-children interactions, educational games…). A targeted 11,500 burkinabè children will have received specific care in the coming two years. HI also runs a specific project to help build resilience to food insecurity in the Sahel region.
HI began working with detainees, particularly women, children and people with disabilities, in 2017. The association provides personalised support including professional training and social and cultural programmes to aid reintegration.
Since 2017, HI has been working alongside disabled peoples organisations (DPOs) to ensure that their rights and needs are included in the fight against HIV.
Situation of the country
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries on the planet. Its most vulnerable citizens are often illiterate and suffer from a lack of access to healthcare and limited spending power.
The most vulnerable populations, and people with disabilities in particular, receive almost no medical assistance and have very little involvement in the country's economic and social life. Their fundamental rights, including access to education, professional training and employment etc. are often not upheld. The vast majority therefore find themselves excluded and suffering from extreme poverty.
85.5% of people with disabilities in Burkina Faso have received no education at all, 56.5% have no occupation, and 72.6% of children with disabilities do not attend school.
The galloping demographic growth of the capital Ouagadougou, which is now home to more than 1.5 million people, has also created issues. These not only relate to problems with pollution and security, but also the transport, health and education infrastructure which is not adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.
 Burkina: General population and census, conducted in 2006 and published in July 2008.