Healthcare Center Destroyed in Burkina Faso Amid Conflict Escalation

Healthcare Center Destroyed in Burkina Faso Amid Conflict Escalation
Médecins Sans Frontières flag, iAko M. Randrianarivelo, Mire Photo, Médecins Sans Frontières.

24/11/2021

Anna Mamedova 

Africa and Human Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defense. 

 Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been torn by deadly attacks in its north and northeast regions as armed rebel groups linked to militant Islamic organizations of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State expanded their reach from neighboring Mali. Yet another incident took place on November 21, 2021, when a group of unidentified armed men stormed into the city of Foubé, located in the department of Barsalogho, northern Burkina Faso, burning a local healthcare center to the ground and injuring several members of staff and patients. 

The healthcare center was first opened in 2019 with the support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a non-governmental organization providing free medical and humanitarian assistance around the globe. MSF, present in Burkina Faso since 1995, expanded its reach into the department of Barsalogho two years ago, providing basic and specialist medical care, psychological support, and critical case referrals to internally displaced people (IDPs) and other individuals affected by the armed conflict. According to the MSF records, the new healthcare center has treated over 20,000 (twenty thousand) patients, mainly young children, per year. 

The head of the MSF mission in Burkina Faso, Mamadou Diarra, was deeply dismayed following the November 21 attack. With the health center in Foubé completely destroyed and the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, many people's lives appear to be in great danger. As violence levels in Burkina Faso continue to rise, more medical and humanitarian intervention is required to ensure uninterrupted access to clean water, basic necessities, and healthcare for the local population trapped in the conflict. Mamadou Diarra further emphasized the unacceptable nature of the current conflict and stressed the importance of cooperation with the government of Burkina Faso to ensure continued assistance to those in need. 

 Sources and further reading: 

Healthcare Centre Burnt Down Amid Surge of Violence in Foubé, APO Group Africa Newsroom, 24 November 2021, 

https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/healthcare-centre-burnt-down-amid-surge-of-violence-in-foube?lang=en 

Healthcare centre burnt down amid surge of violence in Foubé, Médecins Sans Frontières, 23 November 2021, 

https://www.msf.org/healthcare-centre-burnt-down-amid-violent-surge-burkina-faso 

Burkina Faso, Médecins Sans Frontières, 2021, 

https://www.msf.org/burkina-faso