Burkina Faso: A Family’s Journey with Community Health Support

Bougma Asise’s wife—Félicité Sawadogo—is expecting a child. Years ago, this would have posed challenges, given that the nearest healthcare facility is 6 kilometers away and is not easy to reach. In case of an emergency, especially at night, the situation could become complex.

Asise and Félicité live in Loumbila, a commune nestled within the Oubritenga Province in northern-central Burkina Faso—approximately 23 kilometers from Ouagadougou, the capital of the West African country.

In Burkina Faso, accessing healthcare in remote areas is challenging. Furthermore, pregnancy not only impacts a woman’s health but also significantly influences the socio-economic dynamics of the household: when Félicité became pregnant, she had to step away from her income-generating activities, leaving Asise as the sole breadwinner.

Beyond the financial implications, the health risks posed a constant worry. In Burkina Faso, many people lack access to basic healthcare, with more than 10% of children dying before their 5th birthday in 2019.

CHW Zoundi sensitizes Asise and wife Félicité about keeping a healthy pregnancy. Zoundi has been offeringprenatal services to the couple from the first trimester. Also in the photo is another CHW (R) and a Living Goodssupported CHW supervisor (L)

CHW Zoundi sensitizes Asise and wife Félicité about keeping a healthy pregnancy. Zoundi has been offering prenatal services to the couple from the first trimester. Also in the photo is another CHW (R) and a Living Goodssupported CHW supervisor (L).

Yet, for Asise and Félicité, there is hope. The government and partners like Living Goods have collaborated to enhance access to quality, community-based healthcare. Families are now supported by CHWs. One such case is Zoundi, who has become a lifeline for Félicité.

“Zoundi’s assistance is invaluable. We’ve received practical advice that surpasses what one might find in a traditional hospital setting where information is shared in groups,” Asise shared.

Zoundi’s commitment to providing ongoing support has been a blessing for the family. “If we had to continually travel the 6 kilometers to the health center, especially during the night if she fell ill, it would undoubtedly be a complicated ordeal. Zoundi has shared advice that my wife and I were unaware of. The fact that she comes to see us significantly eases our burden,” Asise explained.

Looking toward the future, Félicité expressed her hope, “During childbirth, I hope to receive care and guidance from the CHW to ensure the best possible health for my baby.”

Burkina Faso’s government is partnering with Living Goods to improve access to quality, community-based healthcare as it strives to attain universal health coverage.

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