1 day to go: Burkina Faso maternal mortality campaign countdown

In Burkina Faso, the health care system suffers from several recurrent problems: inadequate health infrastructure, shortages and interruptions of supplies of drugs and medical equipment, blood shortages, a lack of trained medical personnel and a lack of skilled birth attendants.

Health care facilities are often far from people’s homes, especially in rural areas, and transport is unreliable and expensive. Although the government has increased the number of community health centres in recent years, enormous disparities continue to exist between urban and rural areas.

Accountability is key in any health system. The government has to account for the implementation of its health policies. Patients are also entitled to hold accountable, medical personnel who might be responsible for abuses or misconduct, such as unlawful demands for unofficial payments, and must have access to avenues of redress. However, in Burkina Faso, accountability is rare, both at government and individual levels.

Women in Burkina Faso suffer discrimination in every area of their lives, with unequal access to education, health care and employment. Particularly in rural areas, women have little or no say in key domestic decisions. They are primarily valued as wives and mothers.