Go to main content

Orthopaedic centre fire: Handicap International working to continue patient care

Rehabilitation
Burkina Faso

In June 2016, a fire destroyed an orthopaedic centre in the town of Tenkodogo, in the centre of Burkina Faso. Part of the local hospital, it provided services to some 200 people a year.

Inside the orthopaedic centre of Tenkodogo, destroyed by a fire in June 2016

Inside the orthopaedic centre of Tenkodogo, destroyed by a fire in June 2016 | (c) Handicap International

The Tenkodogo orthopaedic-fitting centre has been almost completely destroyed by fire. The corrugated roofs, blackened walls and ash-covered floors bear witness to the intensity of the flames that tore through the building on the night of 6-7 June 2016.

Although the causes of the incident have not yet been identified, it has had a very real impact on the people who benefited from the services provided by the centre, which opened in 2013.

Some 200 people used the Tenkodogo centre every year,” explains Raphaël Guibila, Handicap International’s rehabilitation project manager in Burkina Faso. “Our organisation supported the centre right from the start. We donated equipment and trained the staff. It’s terrible to see it in this state, especially for people from the region who need rehabilitation care, orthoses and prostheses.

 

€190,000 to rebuild the centre

One of those people is 9-year-old Rachidatou, who was fitted with a prosthesis by the centre’s rehabilitation services with support from Handicap International. The little girl beams as she plays with her father, Madi, under a tree near their home, on the outskirts of Tenkodogo.

Rachidatou had a lot of health problems after my wife gave birth to her,” says Madi. “She had to have a trans-tibial amputation 20 days after she was born, otherwise she would have developed a malformation as she grows up. When the centre opened in 2013, Rachidatou’s follow-up care improved. Handicap International gave her a prosthesis and since then she’s been able to walk to school with her friends.”

Handicap International is working with the health authorities in Burkina Faso to find a solution that will enable Rachidatou and others like her to continue benefiting from the Tenkodogo orthopaedic-fitting centre’s services.

We’re currently looking into solutions to compensate for the loss of the centre,” says Raphaël Guibila. “We’re going to continue training the orthoprosthesists, and we’re thinking about setting up mobile clinics to provide patients with follow-up care. Some people need rehabilitation care. Others are waiting for their prostheses to be adjusted or repaired.

It’s going to take time to rebuild and re-equip it, and for a poor country like Burkina it’s going to cost a lot of money [editor’s note: €190,000]… but with everyone’s support and hard work, we’ll be able to reopen the orthopaedic-fitting centre very soon,” says Raphaël confidently.

[To be continued...]

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Gabriel PERRIAU

USA

Mica BEVINGTON

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

HI launches emergency response to assist injured
© Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/ AFP

HI launches emergency response to assist injured

10 teams will be working in the five governorates of Gaza starting the end of the week, supplying at-home rehabilitation care to people injured in the demonstrations held in recent weeks. Flavia Stea Antonini, head of operations at the organisation’s head office, tells us more about HI’s response.

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”
© Elise Cartuyvels/HI

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”

Reema, 14, was abandoned at the age of six. Suffering from phocomelia – a congenital malformation – since birth, for many years she was unable to walk. With support from HI, she has been fitted with a prosthesis and benefits from rehabilitation care. Reema now goes to school. She wants to be a dancer and practices every morning.

Rehabilitation services urgently needed to avoid disability
© Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/ AFP

Rehabilitation services urgently needed to avoid disability

Some 3,000 people were injured in demonstrations on the 14th and 15th May at the border between Gaza and Israel. Medical services in Gaza have been overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of large numbers of casualties. HI is ready to provide rehabilitation services to prevent patients from developing a permanent disability and to regain their mobility.