This week in a Burkina Faso teaching hospital, a group of children underwent surgeries they desperately needed so they could see another day. On the day of the surgery, the children could be seen sitting together in medical gowns at the teaching hospital. One could see the nervousness on the children’s faces as they waited at the end of the hospital’s empty hallway.
Group of Five Children Undergo Open-Heart Surgeries
Amongst the group of children was Landry Nion. Laundry, the smallest in the group of children, chose to distract himself with a phone game before the surgery. The nine-year-old played on while an older girl cheerfully encouraged him to keep winning. Before the surgery, Landry told reporters that he would like to become a footballer like his idol Messi. He said he hoped the surgery would be successful so he could fulfill his dream.
Like his fellow peers, Landry was born with a heart defect that hinders him from playing football. But on the day of the surgery, the five children became the first in Burkina Faso to successfully undergo open-heart surgery. The five were identified to undergo the procedure by a French charity La Chaine de l’Espoir. The charity asked each of the participants to participate in the week-long surgical campaign at the Tengandogo University Hospital in Ouagadougou. Once the five children accepted the offer, they were directed to European doctors for the operations. With the assistance of some Burkina Faso, the European doctors, counterparts undergoing training to perform operations independently performed the procedures.
Burkina Faso Health Sector Facing Challenges
Because Burkina Faso is among the world’s poorest countries, it faces tremendous challenges in its health sector. The challenges continue to batter the country’s health sector despite increased government funding and international support to ensure the sector remains afloat. Now Burkina Faso survives in other countries, helping them acquire learning opportunities from their procedures. The opportunities help the doctors in Burkina Faso gain knowledge on how to operate on their own. When they can oversee operations by themselves, the doctors stop having to transfer patients to Tunisia or Morocco, or France to get treatment.
During the open-heart surgeries, the President of the La Chaine de l’Espoir charity oversaw Ouagadougou’s operations. The President of the charity said the operation marked a landmark event that could signal a sea-change for the West African country’s healthcare system. With all the five surgeries succeeding, doctors sent the children into different rooms for recovery. But Landry’s recovery would be the longest amongst all the others, according to the doctors.
Landry Spends More Days in Hospital
Landry suffered an infection during his surgery that would keep him confined in his recovery room for a bit longer. But the other children would leave the recovery ward soon and be with their families. Landry’s mother, Amadine Abilabou, 37, told reporters she rains strong, and her son’s condition has improved since the surgery. Landry’s mother continues to stay by his side, awaiting his full recovery.
The La Chaine de l’Espoir revealed that he aimed to coordinate six to eight Similar campaigns in Burkina Faso every year. He said the learning stage for heart surgeries takes very long. He said he would try his best to help more and more doctors acquire the knowledge from the procedures.