Despite modest increases in government funding and the expansion of its range of health interventions, Burkina Faso continues to face important challenges in the health sector. Communicable diseases remain the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the country - malaria continues to be a leading cause of illness and death in Burkina Faso, with an estimated 8.1 million cases and 19,979 deaths in 2020, as well as the number one cause of mortality for children under the age of five. According to the Ministry of Health, malaria accounts for 43 percent of consultations with a health provider and 22 percent of deaths. High fertility rates of an average of 5.4 births per woman have improved in recent years but still result in 28 percent of women (aged 20-24) giving birth before age 18, while the country experiences an under-five mortality rate of 85 deaths per 1,000 live births.
USAID’s nationwide health activities in Burkina Faso are designed to strengthen the country’s healthcare system and contribute to our efforts to increase individual and community resilience across the Sahel. USAID supports leadership, governance, service delivery, human resource development, and access to high-quality equipment and supplies. Our areas of intervention include malaria; HIV/AIDS; neglected tropical diseases; nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene; reproductive health and family planning; maternal, newborn, and child health; and global health security.
MALARIA PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
USAID works with the Government of Burkina Faso to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates related to malaria, with a focus on children under five years of age and pregnant women. USAID also supports Burkina Faso’s National Malaria Control Program to scale up malaria prevention and control.
The U.S. Government has provided $128.5 million in funding over the past five years to Burkina Faso to fight malaria on a national scale. This includes procuring malaria rapid diagnostic tests, medications, and insecticide-treated bednets. The support for seasonal malaria chemoprevention and malaria case management is currently focused on the Center East, Center West, and southwest regions.
USAID's contribution to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS supports the government of Burkina Faso in its effort to achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 target which provides that by 2030: 95 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 95 percent of all HIV-infected people screened receive long-term antiretroviral therapy and 95 percent of people receiving antiretroviral therapy have a sustainably suppressed viral load.
PEPFAR interventions contributed to significantly improving HIV case finding through different approaches, including index testing. Additionally, using the Test & Start approach, PEPFAR contributed to optimizing the linkage of HIV patients to antiretroviral regimens. The number of HIV patients on optimized live-saving treatments grew from 19,250 in 2019 to 32,817 in 2021 on PEPFAR-supported sites.
From 2019 to 2021, the U.S. Government provided $23.2 million in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso. While some activities have national coverage, the focus is currently on the Boucle du Mouhoun, Center, Center-North, Center-west, and Hauts-Bassins regions. Two of these regions (Center-North and Boucle du Mouhoun) are affected by insecurity and were included in the program to maintain access to life-saving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for internally displaced persons.
USAID’s activities are designed to improve the health and nutritional status of women and children under five years of age. These activities span a broad range of humanitarian and development programs, including long-term and resilience-focused initiatives. One of the main objectives is to increase the availability and access to nutritious food, nutrition services and potable water, and multisectoral nutrition governance strengthening.
USAID promotes better practices and behaviors among vulnerable populations with regard to sanitation, water, nutrition, and seeking medical help in a timely manner. USAID also builds the capacity of local healthcare providers to prevent, manage, and treat acute malnutrition as well as the illnesses it can cause in children. Between 2018 and 2021, USAID invested $9.5 million in the field of nutrition with a focus on the most vulnerable populations.
MATERNAL, NEWBORN, AND CHILD HEALTH
USAID programs are designed to improve the access and utilization of quality maternal, neonatal, and child health services, and target children, adolescents, first-time parents, and women under the age of 25.
USAID supports the Ministry of Health with $8 million annually (2021 fiscal year funding) for the implementation of high-impact reproductive, maternal, antenatal, obstetric, and neonatal interventions to decrease maternal and child deaths and promotes the use of services at the clinical and community levels. This includes strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers and the distribution of medical supplies and commodities to healthcare facilities. These activities support the resilience of the most vulnerable.
FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
USAID works on increasing the demand for and access to quality family planning services such as access to long-term contraceptive methods or post-partum care. The delivery of such services is provided by front-line and community healthcare workers and builds resilience by reducing the impact of family planning and reproductive health-related stresses. USAID provides $8 million per year (2021 fiscal year funding level) to increase the demand, access, and use of high-quality family planning services at the national and peripheral levels including Center-West, South-West, Center-North, Center-East, East, Center, and Sahel regions.
GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY AGENDA
Burkina Faso is a phase-one priority country for the U.S. government’s Global Health Security Agenda, which is a global effort to strengthen the world's ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. In Burkina Faso, USAID works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support national efforts to prevent and reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks. This includes early detection and rapid responses to potential threats. USAID's contribution of $19 million for the period from 2015 to 2021 mainly targets “One Health” interventions with the ministries in charge of health, animal resources, and the environment. The Global Health Security Agenda is primarily national in scope and has resulted in the strengthening of laboratory diagnostic and infectious disease surveillance systems.
NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES
USAID supports scaling up an integrated mass drug administration approach for the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases. These diseases include trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminths. A mass drug administration approach means that instead of treating individuals only if they show symptoms, all members of a group are treated at once. This greatly helps in interrupting transmission cycles. For example, in the 48 districts where trachoma was endemic in 2011, this approach led to a significant retreat of the disease. USAID investments work towards the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases nationwide using mass drug administration targeting five neglected tropical diseases in endemic zones, disease mapping, capacity building, and disease surveillance.
COVID-19 represents a threat to resilience. In response, USAID supports public information and the provision of water, sanitation, hygiene, medical supplies, and vaccines to better prevent and control the disease. This is also to ensure that women, children, and vulnerable people continue to have access to essential health and nutrition services throughout the response to the pandemic.
To date, the agency has provided nearly $14 million in COVID-19-related health and humanitarian assistance in support of risk communication and community engagement, infection prevention/control, logistics and supplies, and surveillance.
To meet the Government of Burkina Faso’s goal to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the target population of 10.2 million people aged 18 years or older by the end of 2022, USAID anticipates providing almost 50 percent of the 20 million doses of vaccines that will be required. This will also include assistance to distribute and make the vaccines available across the country. Through COVAX, over 2,250,000 doses of vaccines have already arrived in Burkina Faso.
- Increased malaria prevention and control.
- Improved nutrition, water, and sanitation practices.
- Reduced maternal, newborn, and child mortality.
- Increased access to and utilization of family planning and reproductive health services.
- Improved prevention, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks and newly emerging health threats.
- Preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS by reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 target.