- The general medicine clinic
- The gynaecology unit
- The dental practice
- The AMPO rehab centre
- The AMPO optical unit
The A.M.P.O. Clinic is unique in Ouagadougou, indeed in the whole of Burkina Faso and was established in 1998. Irrespective of race or religion, anyone seeking help is treated here. The problem in this country is not usually the lack of medical care, but the means to pay for it. In the state and private health centres every single treatment including the necessary material must be paid for – immediately and entirely before the treatment begins. And it is often the case that people are deterred from consulting a doctor out of fear of what it may cost. At A.M.P.O. things are different: everyone pays a nominal charge of about 15 cents and is given the medication he needs. Only special treatment (dental or gynaecological) are more expensive, but still far below the price level of other health centres.
Some of the former A.M.P.O. kids are now working as part of the Clinic team, having completed their training as nurses or medical assistants. At present we are treating up to 50,000 patients a year, 50 % of whom are children. The waiting room and the covered inner courtyard are frequently overcrowded and a long queue regularly forms along the street outside the Clinic. Many of the patients come a long way to get here, sometimes starting out on foot from poor, remote areas at night to wait in front of the Clinic gate in the morning.
The Gynaecology Unit at the A.M.P.O. Clinic offers treatment to poor women and girls from the surrounding area as well as to patients referred by the P.P.Filles Counselling Centre. The cost of treatment and medication is modest and, in keeping with A.M.P.O. practice, adapted to the situation of the patient. The Gynaecology Unit also conducts screening tests for the women and girls from the A.M.P.O. institutions.
Equipped with a special dentist chair suitable for use in the tropics and which remains functional for several minutes after a power cut, the Dental Practice has been treating patients for a token fee since 2005 – A.M.P.O. kids free of course. The African dentists here can also manufacture dental prostheses.
The Rehab Unit at A.M.P.O. offers physiotherapy for children and adults either as out-patients or in-patients. In view of the constantly increasing number of traffic accidents in particular, it is becoming more and more important to provide affordable treatment in this sector too. The Rehab Unit is well equipped to carry out a diverse variety of massage and physiotherapy treatments on its small patients. The in-patient section of the Rehab Unit treats children who have undergone hospital treatment and who cannot yet be discharged home. This is the case especially with physically handicapped children or those with major burns. In a small courtyard separated off from the Clinic we have set up 6 beds for the little rehab patients. All of the children come from very poor families and are in urgent need of intensive, professional care. Good food and attention are also an important part of their treatment.
Hundreds and thousands of pairs of spectacles are collected in Europe and sent to our Optical Unit, now managed by a former A.M.P.O. orphan, today an accomplished medical nurse. The Unit provides help to poor people who can come to have their glasses fitted or receive new glasses. Thanks to the huge number of donated spectacles, we can match the right glasses to the right people. Waiting times are long, but in the end everyone leaves with a smile.