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The Order of Malta provides critical medical aid for refugees

Burkina Faso, 05/07/2012

First aid and ambulance services are the focus of the Order of Malta’s emergency relief project in the north of Burkina Faso where over 65,000 Malian refugees have fled following political crisis in their country.

Refugees have arrived in areas experiencing food shortages following periods of drought, poor harvests and sharply rising grain prices. This in turn has aggravated an already critical situation prompting an escalating food crisis within the local and refugee population in particular in the remote border area of Sahel, Burkina Faso.

“Following an assessment mission”, explains Alain de Parcevaux, Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Burkina Faso, “Ordre de Malte France, supported by Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency, is providing ambulance services transporting the sick from refugee camps to local hospitals or in severe cases to hospitals in the capital, Ouagadougou.”

Nina Wohrmann of Malteser International, adds: “The relative remoteness of the area makes it difficult to ensure that refugees can get to the health services they need. Many are suffering from health problems such as respiratory infections, diarrhoea and malnutrition. In case of complications, having a fully equipped ambulance with well-trained first aid officers can save lives.”

For this purpose, two additional ambulances have been stationed in the health care centres of Gorom-Gorom and Dori, in north-eastern Burkina Faso.

In addition the project will benefit the local population who are also suffering from the situation. Both refugees and locals will have access to transportation services on call 24 hours a day.

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