One of the stories from journalists who received funding support from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has been adjudged the second-best anti-corruption report at the 2019 edition of the Anti-Corruption Awards – Prix de Lutte Anti-Corruption (PLAC) in Burkina Faso.
The story, titled, Health Officials at Dori Hospital Extort Money from Patients, which was produced by Ouoba Boukary of the bi-monthly Mutation Newspaper, was one of the reports that received funding support from the MFWA’s on-going project Enhancing Public Participation and Demand for Accountability in Governance through Effective Media and Governance Dialogue Platforms. The project is aimed at enhancing transparency, accountability and service delivery in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal.
Ouoba Boukary’s report highlighted serious irregularities in health service delivery at the Sahel regional hospital of DORI, in Burkina Faso. The story flagged incidence of doctors and other health professionals requesting extra monies from patients before providing health-care services for which the patients had already made the required payments to the authorised cashiers at the hospitals. In some instances, patients were obliged to cough up between $300 to $400 as extra charges. The practice which flouts the health professionals’ ethical code that forbids medical practitioners from getting in contact with money from patients did not only overburden patients but also denied many access to formal health-care services.
In an interview with the MFWA, Ouoba Boukary expressed his excitement and profound appreciation for the support.
“The funding opportunity provided the required support to conduct this investigation, and I am grateful to the MFWA. I hope this opportunity is extended to many journalists in Burkina Faso, and in West Africa.’’
The MFWA congratulates Ouoba Boukary on his award and reiterates its commitment to supporting the production of journalistic which make impact on society.