August 5th is Burkina Faso’s Independence Day
Today LiveMD would like to wish the people of Burkina Faso a very happy Independence Day.
Located in western Africa, Burkina Faso is a French speaking, landlocked country with a population of 18.7 million people. In 1960 this country gained its independence from France and became its own nation. The people of Burkina Faso have undergone much unrest and are still facing many issues that affect their health and wellbeing.
The average life expectancy for the inhabitants of Burkina Faso is only 57 years of age. This is partly due to the fact that there is a substandard health care system in place and a lack of strict vaccination procedures. There is also a lack of doctors available, with estimates being 1 doctor for every 2,000 people. There is also a shortage of nurses and midwives, resulting in poor overall care for most of the population. The government has made an attempt to increase vaccination rates and mobile health units travel the country in an effort to reduce contagious diseases and provide care for those in need. Burkina Faso also has one of the most modern hospitals in all of Africa, located in Ouagadougou where scientist are researching insect-borne diseases.
Predominant Health Concerns in Burkina Faso
Female Genital Mutilation
The practice of female genital mutilation is extremely common in this country. Due to religious beliefs and traditional practices it is estimated that close to 73% of girls and women have had this procedure done. Risks of female genital mutilation include serious infection, complications during childbirth, and damage to the urethra.
Also known as onchocerciasis, this disease is very common in Burkina Faso and is caused by a parasite that is spread to humans through the bite of black flies. These flies live and breed near fast running rivers and streams. River blindness can cause severe complications and even permanent blindness and has resulted in many entire villages abandoning their settlements in an attempt to avoid becoming infected.
Access to Clean Water
Many improvements have been made over recent years to improve the availability of clean water to the people of Burkina Faso. Urban areas have a very high level of clean water and good sanitation services however the rural areas of the country are still lacking. Unfortunately two-thirds of this country’s population live in these rural areas.
Like many other African nations, Burkina Faso is plagued by Malaria. It is one of the top ten causes of death in the entire country and affects a large percentage of the population.
On this day, LiveMD would like to say congratulations on 56 years of Independence to everyone in Burkina Faso! Take this day to celebrate how far you have come as a nation and look to the future to see what great things it will hold for you!
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