- Title: No doctors left in Burkina's violence-wracked north
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: TITAO, BURKINA FASO (RECENT) (REUTERS) FARMER, SALIMATA KABRÃ‰, DISPLACED FROM TOOLO BY VIOLENCE SITTING IN A CLINIC ORGANISED BY MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES (MSF) WEARING GLASSES KABRÃ‰'S FACE KABRÃ‰ WALKING TO THE DOCTOR'S ROOM KABRÃ‰ TAKES OFF HER GLASSES TO REVEAL SHE HAS LOST HER RIGHT EYE , WIPING HER EYE WITH A TISSUE (SOUNDBITE) (MoorÃ©) DOCTOR YOUNGA LOOKING AT SALIMATA'S EYE SAYING: "How many fingers do you see here? Four / And there? /Two / So you see well out of the other eye? Yes, yes" DETAIL ON THE LOST EYE SOCKET (SOUNDBITE) (MoorÃ©) SALIMATA KABRE, TOOLO RESIDENT, WHO LOST HER EYE WHEN MILITARY CHASING JIHADISTS FIRED HIS WEAPON, SAYING: "We went into the fields without knowing the army was going to go through there. So we went to the fields in the morning. When we heard the army was coming, when they arrived, we couldn't flee anymore. So we sat down. Half of the military went past. Another half stopped. Some of the women suggested we get up and run. I said it would be better to wait because it was the army and that they were there to help us because it is on the road the terrorists use so if we run away it will not be good for us. But if they realise that we are civilians they will spare us." KABRE WASHING POT KABRE PUTS LID ON A COOKING POT KABRE WITH POTS KABRE'S HUSBAND ISSOUF BELEM ISSOUF SITTING WITH CHILDREN (SOUNDBITE) (MoorÃ©) SALIMATA KABRE, TOOLO RESIDENT, WHO LOST HER EYE WHEN MILITARY CHASING JIHADISTS FIRED HIS WEAPON, SAYING: "Another woman asked if we should go and tell them we were civilians. Again I said no because who would volunteer to talk to them? If this person gets up they will shoot. it would be asking for it. So we were sitting until we heard shooting. I told everyone to lie on their stomach. There was a child next to me who wanted to lift his head so I also lifted my head to bring him down. That is when the bullet hit me." (SOUNDBITE) DR MORZOUMA YOUNGA, MSF DOCTOR, SAYING: "Thankfully the bullet did not stay inside. If bounced and came out on the side of the eye and literally blew up the right eye." YOUNGA AND KABRE IN THE CONSULTATION ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (MoorÃ©) SALIMATA KABRE, TOOLO RESIDENT, WHO LOST HER EYE WHEN MILITARY CHASING JIHADISTS FIRED HIS WEAPON, SAYING: "Really if these health workers were not here I would have died. I don't know where I could have gone to get treatment. most of the health care centres are closed outside of this one in Titao. / So it was either Titao here or Ouahigouha (40km away). so if this centre wasn't there it would be bad." BELEM AMINATA, 12-YEARS-OLD INJURED WHEN SHE FELL OUT OF A MANGO TREE, CARRIED BY A MAN WHO DROVE HER BY MOTORBIKE TO THE HEALTH CENTRE DOCTOR DOMINIQUE NGUETTA MSF DOCTOR TAKING AMINATA'S PULSE NGUETA LISTENING TO AMINATA'S HEART (SOUNDBITE) (French) DOCTOR DOMINIQUE NGUETTA MSF DOCTOR INSPECTING AMINATA'S INJURY SAYING: "Can you feel this here. You feel it here? and here? AMINATA'S PARENTS SITTING IN CONSULTATION ROOM MOTHER LOOKING DOWN (SOUNDBITE) (French) DOCTOR DOMINIQUE NGUETTA MSF DOCTOR, TALKING TO THE PARENTS, SAYING: "We will need to do an X-Ray. We will X-Ray the hip to see if the bone is broken at the level of the hip. But here, we don't have an X-Ray machine at the hospital. So what we are going to do is to put you in an ambulance and MSF will send you to Ouahigouya so you can get the X-ray." PEOPLE WAITING TO BE SEEN BY THE DOCTOR OUTSIDE THE CLINIC CHILD WAITING (SOUNDBITE) (French) DOCTOR DOMINIQUE NGUETTA MSF DOCTOR ASKED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF MSF HAD TO LEAVE BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE SAYING: "Today Doctors Without Borders are the only organisation offering health care, primary and secondary, with referrals to Ouahigouya so clearly if there is the worst case scenario (that MSF has to leave because of the violence) it would create a vacuum." JERRICANS IN WATER WELL DISPLACED TAKING THE JERRICANS OF WATER FROM THE WELL WATER GOING THROUGH PLASTIC FUNNEL WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT A WATER POINT SET UP BY MSF WOMEN AND CHILDREN WITH JERRICANS AT WATER POINT NEAR OUAHIGOUYA, BURKINA FASO (RECENT) (REUTERS) IDRISSA TALL, 52-YEAR-OLD, DISPLACED BY VIOLENCE IN DINGUILA WHERE 21 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN ATTACKS ON TWO VILLAGES ON MARCH 8, 2020 THAT CLAIMED 43 VICTIMS IN THE HIGHEST CIVILIAN DEATH TOLL TO DATE, SITTING ON A MOTORBIKE WITH OTHER MEN SITTING AROUND AT SITE FOR DISPLACED TALL LOOKING ON TALL'S EYES (SOUNDBITE) (MoorÃ©) IDRISSA TALL, 52-YEAR-OLD, DISPLACED BY VIOLENCE IN DINGUILA, WHERE 21 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN TWIN ATTACKS ON MARCH 8, 2020 THAT CLAIMED 43 VICTIMS IN THE HIGHEST CIVILIAN DEATH TOLL TO DATE, SAYING: "We were at Dinguila Peul. One day men came by surprise and killed us. Personally I lost three members of my family. My mother and I are sitting here now. We ran away to come here. (who did you lose?:) my father and two younger brothers." TALL'S MOTHER SITTING ON THE GROUND DISPLACED AROUND A TREE PLATES AND COOKING POTS ON THE GROUND BACK OF DISPLACED MEN FROM DINGUILA WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED FOR FEAR OF REPRISALS MAN'S EAR MAN'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Moore) DISPLACED MAN FROM DINGUILA WHO FLED AN ATTACK IN WHICH 21 PEOPLE WERE KILLED ON MARCH 8 AND WHO DOES NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED FOR FEAR OF REPRISALS SAYING: "I was sitting at the door of my house. I saw men who came. When they arrived they set fire to my brother's house, burned the house of two of my children, burned my warehouse. One of them said I was going to take a bullet and I said 'no problem'. Thanks to God, he did not shoot." VARIOUS OF FAMILY, MOTHER AND CHILD SITTING NEXT TO CART CATTLE AROUND TREES
- Keywords: Barga Dingila Displaced Doctors without Borders Jihadist violence MSF health care
- Reuters ID: LVA001C6EW57B
- Location: TITAO AND NEAR OUAHIGOUYA, BURKINA FASO
- City: TITAO AND NEAR OUAHIGOUYA, BURKINA FASO
- Country: Burkina Faso
- Duration: 00:06:44
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Story Text: Fifty-five-year-old Salimata Kabre from Toolo, north west Burkina Faso, likes to keep her oversized sunglasses on even when sitting indoors.
Kabre is one of 20,000 people displaced by jihadist and communal violence in the region. She is waiting in line in the corridors of a health clinic in Titao to see a practitioner from Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Titao's population has doubled in the last year as violence spirals out of control, decimating communities and stretching the health care system that is unable to cope with the volume of people needing medical attention, especially for patients like Salimata who lost her eye when an army bullet meant for jihadists accidentally hit her in the face.
Salimata says it was last November that she threw herself on the ground with the other women working in the field when they saw a group of armed men arrive. When they realised they were soldiers searching for armed assailants and jihadists some of them wanted to stand up but Salimata was scared they would be mistaken for the target so she urged everyone to stay down. When a child next to her lifted her head she went over to protect her and the army fired. The doctor said the bullet went right through and blew up her eye.
It was her husband who drove Salimata to the Titao clinic on a motorbike where she was treated by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
"Really if these health workers were not here I would have died. I don't know where I could have gone to get treatment. most of the health care centres are closed outside of this one in Titao. So it was either Titao here or Ouahigouha (40km away). so if this centre wasn't there it would be bad," Salimata said.
MSF's Dr. Dominique Nguetta said they hold around 650 consultations a week and refer 63 patients a month to the larger hospital in Ouahigouya for X-rays and surgeries they can't perform in Titao.
They give free consultations and primary healthcare and also have ambulances to drive the patients safely to Ouahigouya.
The spiral of insecurity and violence has made it increasingly hard for civilians to get even their most basic but essential needs met. MSF said that in the Province of Loroum 9 health centres have closed, 11 are working 'a minima' leaving up to 102,350 people affected by the situation.
The main reason for the medical consultations MSF said are malaria and respiratory infections but also to reduce cases of diarrhoea often caused by the lack of access to clean water due to shortages. MSF said their data shows more than 900 children are malnourished - a sign that there is a food crisis.
UNHCR said in March 14,000 people fled their homes in Burkina Faso in just 17 days, bringing the total of internally displaced civilians to 780,000. Recent violence has also forced more than 2,035 people to flee to neighbouring Mali.
If the violence reaches Titao it will also force MSF to relocate even further away from communities under constant attack.
Mobile clinic activities have been seriously curtailed by the insecurity too said MSF.
"Doctors Without Borders are the only organisation offering health care, primary and secondary," said Nguetta.
In November last year, UNHCR was forced to temporarily relocate its staff from Djibo, a town in the North East of the country. The distribution of aid, including food, to Mentao camp's 7,000 refugees has been sporadic since then.
There have been worrying incidents of violence this month around Dori, also in the North East. Camps and villages have been targeted. The people there can no longer access markets or schools and there have been few opportunities for activities that support their families. Health is also at risk, as the sole ambulance in the camp was stolen earlier this month.
Some 70 per cent of the 8,781 refugees living in Goudoubo have chosen to voluntarily leave the camp, either to return to Mali (57 per cent) or to be relocated to other towns in Burkina Faso (13 per cent).
MSF are also bringing water to the displaced as supply from the well is insufficient to satisfy the increased population. The organisation says even with the extra water civilians are drinking well below the recommended level.
Nearby at least 43 people were killed by armed assailants in Barga and Dinguila on March 8. Some of the survivors of the Dinguila village have now moved to a tented camp near Ouahigouya. It was the highest death toll to date in the last year.
Idrissa Tall said his father and two younger brothers were amongst 21 people killed that day.
Another survivor who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals explains what happened
"l was sitting at the door of my house. I saw men who came. When they arrived they set fire to my brother's house, burned the house of two of my children, burned my warehouse. One of them said I was going to take a bullet and I said 'no problem'. Thanks to God, he did not shoot" he said.
Human Rights Watch said that attack was one of six incidents in northern Burkina Faso since the start of the year that the organization is investigating in which vigilante fighters allegedly killed civilians or suspected jihadists.
Burkina's minister of social action said up to 6,000 people fled as a result of those twin attacks.
The United Nations Secretary General cancelled his planned visit to Burkina Faso this month because of the coronavirus pandemic. Today health workers are looking at ways to ensure the virus doesn't reach the displaced living in cramped camps and homes with limited access to health care or water.
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