Geography and Climate
Burkina Faso is situated in the dry flat savanna belt of West Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world. The climate is characterized by long periods of drought, and consequently desert areas are increasing.
As many regions of Burkina Faso are exceptionally dry, farming barely provides enough food for all of its inhabitants. Many people are therefore undernourished and the infant mortality rate is high. Children and pregnant women in particular suffer as a result of insufficient or imbalanced nutrition and are susceptible to illness. In general, it is therefore difficult to provide healthy nutrition for the entire population.
For this reason, a comprehensive nutritional program was introduced in the Koupela district. The project ran from October 2005 to September 2008 and was supported by the Arthrex Foundation with a donation of 20.000,00 Euro.
The following activities were carried out during the project period:
• Interviewing of mothers and children to determine their knowledge and attitudes towards nutrition, hygiene and health
• Health checks including investigations into blood and electrolyte values
• Creation of school and community gardens
• Deworming courses and nutritional supplements
• Training courses and workshops on the topics of nutrition, hygiene and health, vegetable production, cultivation methods and irrigation
Outcome of the Project
This initiative made it possible to counteract infant mortality and malnutrition in children and women. It was also possible to strengthen the immune systems of children by means of healthy nutrition. Around 8,900 female students and 9,070 male students benefited from the project, which also involved 360 teachers and 90 members of women's groups who are now in a position to pass on their knowledge to other members of the community. Furthermore, the project also helped roughly 68,370 children under five years of age in Koupela and nearly 80,000 mothers and pregnant women, as their nutritional situation has improved significantly.