An Increasing Percentage Of Children In Burkina Faso Suffer From War-related Trauma

An Increasing Percentage Of Children In Burkina Faso Suffer From War-related Trauma

Safi and her four children fled their hamlet in northern Burkina Faso when armed men broke in and started shooting. After killing her husband and other family members, the gunmen discovered them and left them to live with the guilt of having survived.

Safi is one of the two million people who have fled their homes in the West African nation because to escalating hostilities between security troops and Islamic extremists.

Children make up over 60% of those displaced. Although there are little mental health resources and children are frequently disregarded for treatment, many people are traumatized.

“A lot of people assume that the kids are okay and haven’t seen anything,” said Rudy Lukamba, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s health coordinator in Burkina Faso.

His program helps identify and treat youngsters who have experienced trauma. Mothers are frequently the ones who identify symptoms in kids as young as 3 or 4. According to him, the presence of a parental figure in the lives of the children increases the likelihood of a successful recovery following treatment.

Since rebels affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have begun attacking the army and volunteer forces, mass executions have become the norm in northern Burkina Faso. Villages that are thought to be collaborating with the enemy may be targeted by such forces. A nonprofit organization based in the United States called the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project claims that since the conflict started ten years ago, more than 20,000 people have died.

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