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HMK Carrier Profile: How Nicole Kambou is serving the “Forgotten People” in Burkina Faso

In the village of Ouadaraduo (meaning “village of the forgotten people”) sits a small clinic called “The Denan Clinic.” The tiny waiting room is crammed with people, all of whom have travelled somewhere between 10-25 miles – on foot – to see the doctor on-site. The clinic operates three days a week and in that time, sees anywhere from 400-600 patients.

Burkina Faso is currently in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of people fleeing their villages due to ongoing conflict. These displaced people are in urgent need of shelter, food, water and medicine. Many sleep in open areas, exposing them not only to conflict-related dangers, but also to diseases like malaria. On top of this, there is a shortage of medications and medical equipment in the country, meaning many people in Burkina Faso do not have access to healthcare and cannot afford medication.

The Denan Clinic, operated by Atelier D’education et de Formation des Enfants Orphelins (ATEFEO) – a child welfare organization operating in Burkina Faso – is the only clinic in the country that offers free treatment, which explains why so many people travel such long distances on foot without food or water, and at great personal risk to visit the clinic.

Nicole Kambou is a Registered Nurse living in Brampton, ON, and the Founder and President of ATEFEO. She founded the Denan Clinic in 2008 in her hometown of Ouadaraduo to help the children in her community.

Many of the children Nicole sees at the clinic suffer from preventable and treatable illnesses like malaria, diarrhea, dehydration, infections, malnutrition, and lethargy. But the clinic is underfunded and not able to satisfy the demand for the basic medicines that are the most needed – antibiotics, antiparasitics, antihypertensives and multivitamins.

Nicole has been going on medical mission trips to Burkina Faso with HPIC’s Humanitarian Medical Kits since 2014, always taking a supply of the urgently-needed medicines with her to stock the clinic. From 2015 to 2019, more than 5,000 children were treated with the high-quality medicines provided by Health Partners International of Canada.

Nicole picking up Humanitarian Medical Kits from HPIC’s Oakville warehouse

Now when Nicole returns to Ouadaraduo, she sees the impact that the medical donations have on the community when she sees the children laughing and playing as every child deserves to.

Through her work with ATEFEO, Nicole continues to be an advocate for the medical needs in Burkina Faso. HPIC remains an active partner in the delivery of medicines to their region; together we are changing the story of the “forgotten people”.

In addition to the Humanitarian Medical Kits carried by Nicole, HPIC also provided additional medicine donations to Burkina Faso with our implementing partner, Children Believe, benefitting 469,354 internally displaced people, including 284,757 children and 230,327 women from the eastern and Centre-North regions of the country.

For more information about HPIC or to support HPIC in its work to Burkina Faso, visit www.hpicanada.ca

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