Ouagadougou (Fides Service) – Camillian Father Edgard Yameogo is chaplain at Yalgado Ouedraogo state hospital in Ouagadougou and director of the Camillian Centre for Health Care Pastoral in Burkina Faso. On the occasion of Christmas he sent a message to Fides with regard to the health situation in his country.
Here is the message:
“Yalgado Ouedraogo Hospital, of which I am chaplain, has 717 beds. It is the largest state hospital in the capital Ouagadougou. The hospital staff, dynamic and competent, trained locally in African universities or at European faculties. Yalgado Hospital is self-managed and self-supporting. In fact, patients pay for their own treatment and medicine and this means that poor people who cannot afford to pay are excluded.
“In Burkina Faso AIDS is spreading rapidly, the percentage of infection among the people is already 7%. However malaria kills ten times as many people as AIDS.
“In this situation our greatest hope is that all who suffer from AIDS or malaria (to mention only two most widespread diseases) may have access to treatment. I have acted as chaplain in hospitals in Rome and I must say that many drugs which are not used there would be of great use here. For us in Burkina Faso antiretroviral drugs are a luxury!
“We hope Christmas will bring people to be more generous and to show solidarity with the sick in the south of the world.
Let us hope that during these days of festivity hearts will open and the horizons of science will extend to embrace and care for all those who suffer”. (AP) (23/12/2003 Fides Service; lines:27 words:300)