Burkina Faso: The Countdown to 2030 and GFF national collaborative project to improve population health

Reprinted from lefaso.net, Translated by Countdown 2030

The Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP) organized a workshop to disseminate the results of Phase II of the GFF-Countdown to 2030 collaboration project in Burkina Faso this Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Ouagadougou. The aim was to share the project’s results with political decision-makers and healthcare system stakeholders.

Specifically, the activities carried out under the project were presented. In addition, the progress made in terms of health, including social and spatial inequalities, were also presented. The levels of coverage indicators deduced from routine data were also presented. In addition, the health policy decision-making process was explained. Finally, the next phase of the project was presented.

The “Countdown-GFF Country Collaboration” enabled the progress made by Burkina Faso in terms of health to be noted, particularly with regard to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It has facilitated the analysis of reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health data. This will enable researchers to take into account areas for improvement in this field. The socio-economic situation of the country was laid out during the meeting.

The project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Figures, Delivered

Burkina Faso is a low-income country with 41.4% of the population living below the poverty line according to the results of the 2018/2019 Harmonized Survey on Living Conditions (EHCVM). Burkina Faso is also characterized by a high level of fertility, and a population whose state of health remains precarious, with security problems in several regions since 2015. The annual fertility rate for teenage girls aged 15 to 19 is 104 births per 1,000 women, one of the highest rates in the world (23rd), while a woman has an average of 5.23 children during her reproductive life. The high fertility rate is fuelling rapid population growth, estimated at 20,487,979 in 2019, 51.7% of whom will be women, mostly young (45.3%) and concentrated in rural areas (73.7%).

Mortality levels remain high for certain specific groups. For example, the maternal mortality ratio is 320 per 100,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under 5 is 76 per 1,000 live births, respectively the 45th and 23rd highest rates in the world. The main causes of maternal death are haemorrhage, infections, eclampsia and uterine rupture. Malaria, neonatal sepsis, complications of premature birth, acute respiratory infections and malnutrition are the main causes of infant and child mortality.

As part of the project, Bruno Lankoandé has organized research and capacity-building for health professionals, and scientific articles are currently being written.

Burkina Faso, like many other countries in the world, is also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the first cases was detected in March 2020, and the country took the following measures, among others: closing schools and universities, closing air and land borders, social distancing measures, introducing curfews, quarantining towns in which a positive case of COVID was detected, reducing intra-urban and inter-urban mobility, banning any gathering of more than 50 people, compulsory wearing of masks, etc. Burkina Faso recorded 14,793 confirmed cases and 214 deaths over the period March 2020 to October 2021. A recent publication suggests that this would have had a relatively modest negative effect on the use of health services.

A considerable impact on health

The meeting was attended by the coordinating team and members of the project’s technical working group, political decision-makers, stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, researchers and any other stakeholder interested in the project’s activities. Commenting on the project, Pr Abdramane Soura said: “This collaboration has been tailored to the needs of the government, with the ultimate aim of providing scientific evidence and relevant recommendations to guide the activities supported. Phase II of the project has produced some very encouraging results, and I understand that Phase III is on the horizon”, he said.

Professor Abdramane Soura thanked all the partners who had supported the project.

“The impact of the project on the population is not direct. But it will enable us to see where improvements are needed. Indirectly, it will enable us to take into account certain actions in favor of people’s health. They’re going to benefit from the project’s interventions,” said Bruno Lankoandé, one of the project’s coordinators. According to the second Countdown-GFF Country Collaboration coordinator, Roch Modeste Millogo, “There has been an improvement in health in Burkina Faso.”

Roch Modeste Millogo recommended facilitating access to good quality health care.

“What’s more telling is that there has been progress in family planning. But we note that since 2015 and 2016 there has been no further progress in terms of indicators. This is linked to the security crisis,” he said. Phase II of the project was spread over two years (2020-2022). Reflections are underway for Phase III.

PDFs of the presentations discussed are available, the first is here, the second is here, and the last is here.

The reports and briefing notes created are listed below:

Child nutrition policy brief
Policy brief on reproductive health
Analysis report on health indicators in Burkina Faso