Approximately 1.5 million people lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases every year, making vaccines one of the most cost-effective investments in health and development in history, according to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Vaccination campaigns were occurring in Konkourona, but with no vaccine refrigerator, the availability of vaccines was sporadic. Last week, the District Medical Office in Lena, Burkina Faso, partnered with Mami Siara Na (MSN) and KAFO to provide a vaccine refrigerator for the Health Center. KAFO founders believe that vaccination is essential to any robust health program.
Simply providing vaccines is not enough. A strong management committee (COGES) is essential for long-term sustainability of any health program. The District Medical Office sent representatives to Konkourona last week to provide training to community leaders on the following:
✓ Introduction to the health system in Burkina Faso;
✓ Organization of the health system in Burkina Faso;
✓ The management committee (COGES), its organization and operation;
✓ Office composition and roles of COGES members;
✓ Partnership of the COGES with other structures;
✓ Financial management;
✓ Equipment management;
✓ Management of medicine stocks;
✓ Motivation of office members and disciplinary sanctions;
✓ Supervision and control of health training; and
✓ Practical exercises on filling the forms, and calculating orders and expenses.
As a result of these activities and others over the past 4 years, since MSN and KAFO were formed, the community of Konkourona feels empowered to drive improvements in their health and overall well-being.
The training was conducted in the Konkourona Library created through a partnership with the District Education Office of Lena, MSN, KAFO and Friends of African Village Libraries last year.
Some of the students who passed the middle school entrance exam this year are shown in the picture below. These hard working, record-breaking students serve as a daily reminder to me of the lives we are working to save and improve.