We help Burkinabe mothers and children access the health care they need in the face of shocks and stresses to their environment.
Located in the Sahel region in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to a rapidly growing, young population. In recent years, strides have been made to improve Burkina Faso’s health system by increasing spending and the range of health care options available to Burkinabe women, children, and communities.
Partnerships with local and national organizations are key to supporting women’s and children’s access to high-quality health care, now and in the future. MOMENTUM works closely with partners to support the planning and management of high-quality maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services, voluntary family planning, reproductive health care, and routine immunization services. In doing so, the program is helping increase the resilience of the country’s health system to respond to shocks and stresses that affect the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.
Increasing the Resilience of the Health System
In just over two years, terrorist attacks and climate-related crises in Burkina Faso have internally displaced more than 1.3 million people.1 Security concerns in the country have pushed many health facilities to close and spurred a shortage of health workers, making it harder for people to access basic health services.
MOMENTUM works to help Burkinabe women, children, and communities maintain access to health care in the midst of shocks and stresses to the health system. It works through partnerships with local structures and systems, including partnerships with community leaders and other nongovernmental players and projects. We collaborate with partners to prioritize and promote self-care, such as taking iron and folic acid tablets during pregnancy to prevent anemia or using self-administered family planning methods, when providers are difficult to access. It also identifies ongoing and potential challenges to delivering care.
Prioritizing Community Health Care
Delivering efficient, integrated health services as close to home as possible is critical in a country like Burkina Faso where there are limited resources and many barriers to providing quality healthcare. This localized approach allows people to receive the maximum benefit each time they interact with their health system. MOMENTUM supports on-site mentorship and supervision of community health workers to provide gender- and youth-responsive care. Our collaboration with communities will help programs align with local priorities and strategies, improving health care and assisting programs to take local values and needs into account.
In addition, we work with local partners to build on successful approaches—like engaging first-time parents through peer groups and home visits—and expand them to new communities. We also partner with local media to tell stories that focus on the importance of women’s and children’s health and promote and sustain positive personal health behaviors across communities.
Reaching Every Child with Routine Immunizations
In Burkina Faso, we are adapting the Reaching Every District/Reaching Every Child approach2, initially designed by the World Health Organization. This approach builds the capacity of local health systems to address common obstacles to routine immunization and reach more children with vaccinations. We are applying it to strengthen planning for additional health services to help communities—especially those beyond the reach of the formal health system—connect to the care they need.
Keeping Health Services Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
MOMENTUM supports efforts to offer safe and quality health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We help train staff on infection prevention and control measures and the use of personal protective equipment. We also work with local health facilities to promote safe physical distancing and spacing between visits with clients to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience works with Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health to sustainably plan and manage quality health services and build resilience to shocks and stresses to the country’s health system.
- United Nations Refugee Agency. “Record Numbers Forced to Flee Ongoing Violence in Burkina Faso.” July 23, 2021. https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/briefing/2021/7/60fa77864/record-numbers-forced-flee-ongoing-violence-burkina-faso.html.
- WHO Africa. Reaching Every District (RED): A Guide to Increasing Coverage and Equity in All Communities in the African Region. 2017. https://www.afro.who.int/publications/reaching-every-district-red-guide-increasing-coverage-and-equity-all-communities.