A tale of three villages
A new approach bringing together malaria and pneumonia treatment by community volunteers that could reduce childhood deaths in Africa
Under the baobab tree in Koumbrigouan
One of the control group communities is Koumbrigouan, a village that closely resembles the physical appearance of Djalakoro and Dérégoué. At the entrance, vendors sell petrol in used wine bottles and women tote mangoes in trays on their heads, vying for customers. There are rows of round huts made out of dried clay and straw that house the women, and square ones where the men live.
Armande Sanou, a sociologist and the study co-principal investigator, joins a group of women and children seated in the shade of a large centuries-old baobab tree. Sanou, whose mother tongue is the local Dioula language, readily establishes rapport and listens attentively to the health issues they describe.
"The only way to get to the health centre is by motorcycle and I don't always have money to buy fuel," says Ardjata Ouattara, echoing a concern that is repeated by several other women. When asked what they do if they are unable to get there, Mariam Ouédraogo, who is nursing a child, replies that she asks her mother and father to get her traditional (herbal) medicines. Another woman adds that she had bought expensive drugs (without a prescription) in the local market that did not help her children get better.