Ensuring Continued Access to Health Care in Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Hospital equipment donations at a Health and Social Promotion Center in Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso.
USAID/OTI/BFRP

"It is with great satisfaction that the commune receives this equipment, which responds to the current need and is of very good quality."

Abdoulaye Sawadogo, Chief Medical Officer of Fada N'Gourma

Most provinces in Burkina Faso’s Est region are under the influence of violent extremist organizations (VEOs), spurring a massive displacement of residents into the city of Fada, the regional capital, from throughout the surrounding areas in the region. According to the most recent UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ data from August 31, 2021, the population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Fada numbers an estimated 66,430, which is 58 percent greater than it was just six months ago. The large number of IDPs in the city puts considerable pressure on its already-struggling public Health and Social Promotion Centers (CSPS). Local authorities are responsible for providing basic social services, and their inability to meet the needs of their constituents in the face of this population increase creates tension between host communities and IDPs, as well as between Fada residents and their state authorities. 

To improve access to essential health services and reduce tensions in the city, the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) through the Burkina Faso Regional Program (BFRP) partnered with the Fada N’Gourma Mayor’s Office to equip four CSPS in different city sectors. This equipment came as a relief to the population and even more so to the local authorities, as they had been unable to supply these health centers with basic equipment as demand for health services increased. “It is a great day for Fada because the equipment that we received today relieves not only our municipality at a time of unprecedented insecurity and health crises, but the population will also benefit from the improved quality of care that they will receive,” said Jean Claude Louari, the Mayor of Fada.

In addition to providing equipment, USAID/OTI organized a training on organizational management, advocacy, and fundraising techniques for 46 CSPS staff and equipment management committee members, including nine women. The training goals were to ensure that community members are able to raise funds and/or advocate for necessary equipment in the future, and to ensure proper CSPS management. Members of the management committees from each CSPS also learned about leadership expectations related to their manager roles.

Bade Souleymane, a training participant, said, “I learned about the roles and responsibilities of the management committee’s members. I also learned which organizations (partners, donors, structures) can support the management committees in improving the health services we provide to our populations.”

The success of this initiative lies in the strength of the community members, authorities, leaders, and health agents’ involvement in it—from the very early stages of the project—because health centers depend on the capacity and commitment of their management committees to function properly.  The newly-equipped CSPS are already seeing this in practice, as their management committees  have started applying their new skills and techniques to ensure service delivery remains stable in their health centers.

“We [already] approached some associations; we used the techniques learned in the training and further benefited from receiving benches, hand-washing stations, and blood pressure meters,” said Tiendrebeogo Halidou, a city councilor.

Finally, to inform community members about the health centers’ increased accommodation capacity, USAID/OTI helped organize an information campaign through local radio stations and broadcasted in three of the most-commonly spoken languages in the commune, Moore, Gourmantchéma, and Fulfulde. Through the efforts of USAID/OTI BFRP’s collaboration with the mayor’s office, attendance levels at the CSPS have increased, reducing the tensions between community members, authorities, and health care agents—to the great satisfaction of Fada’s Chief Medical Officer.

He concluded, “It is with great satisfaction that the district receives this batch of equipment which in addition to corresponding to the current need, is of very good quality. This equipment will be used wisely, and I call upon the health agents and the management committees to be more responsible in its maintenance.”

Last updated: November 23, 2021

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