Improving Maternal and Child Health in Burkina Faso

In 2007 in Burkina Faso, the infant mortality rate was 81 per 1,000 live births and the maternal mortality rate was 307.3 per 100,000. This situation is due in part to poor maternal, neonatal and child health services and to malnutrition, malaria and nutritional deficiencies (iron, iodine and vitamin A).

Access to and quality of health services remain poor because of a lack of and low quality of services, poorly developed community-based services, and inconsistent communication for promoting health, among other things.

What We're Doing: 

The overall objective of the project is to reduce morbidity and mortality of mothers, newborns and children under five in four health districts. PASME will support:

  • reinforcing the capability of health services to provide health benefits
  • improving the quality of health services for mothers, newborns and children, and changing the habits of the communities in order to improve the nutritional state of mothers and children
What We're Learning: 

PASME started in March 2012. The strategy of involving the health authorities of the districts in planning the activities and the results has already proven to be effective. The authorities and the health officers are implementing the project through the integration of project activities in their own yearly planning.


The population of Burkina Faso is characterized by high fertility (6.2 children per woman), but also by very high rates of infant mortality (81 per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality (307.3 per 100,000).

The health districts chosen by the project have among the lowest health indicators in the country, according to the 2008 Statistical Yearbook. Access to health services for mothers and children is very limited because these populations, especially those in peri-urban and rural areas, have very low socioeconomic status. There are few stakeholders, and reception facilities for MNCH services are inadequate. Socio-cultural factors negatively affect maternal and child health because of cultural reluctance to visit health care facilities. Access to health services is also limited by the poverty of populations and traditional roles between women and men. Also, there is a lack of qualified health care staff, especially in MNCH. The staff has limited knowledge of and skills in interpersonal communication, gender and reproductive health, in health program management and quality assurance of services.

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