Malaria in Africa: Interview with Nicolas Compaore, Market Manager in Burkina Faso

The WHO reports a worsening of the malaria incidence in different African area. Nicolas, do you also recognize this increase of incidence in Burkina Faso?

Nicolas: “Yes, we can say that the incidence is worsening because for the past year there has been a sharp drop in health care attendance due to the pandemic. This has probably resulted in undiagnosed cases of simple and severe malaria. But in addition we have noticed during the past months stock-outs of anti-malarial products because of the priority given to COVID-19 products and materials.”

Which population groups are particularly affected by the consequences of malaria?

Nicolas: “Children from 0 to 5 years old and women are particularly vulnerable. They are the most fragile people. For pregnant women, the consequences are more serious with abortions and premature deliveries. This, despite the measures taken by the government for free treatment of pregnant women and children from 0 to 5 years.”

How do you and people around you protect yourselves?

Nicolas: “We have several protections. The physical protection which consists in protecting ourselves from mosquito bites by using impregnated mosquito nets, and the use of anti-mosquito repellents, wearing clothes in order not to expose ourselves. We also have the seasonal chemo-prophylaxis initiated by the state. For pregnant women, we have a preventive treatment from the 16th week of pregnancy until term.”

What is the impact of the Corona crisis on the development of malaria in Africa?

Nicolas: “A year ago, the COVID-19 infection was reported all over Africa, leading to a desertion of health centers by both patients and health care personnel. The reasons for this were that staff were poorly equipped with protective equipment and that the signs of malaria are similar to those of COVID-19. The impact was self-medication, making malaria more difficult to manage. Health authorities reported an increase in neuromalarial cases in hospitals.”

How does Denk Pharma support your region? How do you support your region?

Nicolas: “With the support of Denk Pharma, our team has been able to provide medical staff and pharmacies with protective equipment consisting of masks, hydroalcoholic solution and gel, caps, shoes, helmets and handwash solutions.

We believe that this has ensured the protection of the medical professionals and restored some confidence in the patients.”