Shared Decision-making in Maternal and Newborn Health in Burkina Faso

Main Article Content

Janet Perkins
Cecilia Capello
Aminata Bargo
Carlo Santarelli


Community participation in decision-making within the health sector is an essential component in advancing efforts toward primary health care (PHC). Since 2006, Enfants du Monde, a Swiss non-governmental organization (NGO), in collaboration with the local NGO Fondation pour le Développement Communautaire/Burkina Faso (FDC/BF), has been supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) to include communities in decision-making related to maternal and newborn health (MNH) services. Notably, participatory community assessments (PCA) are conducted to provide a platform for community members to discuss MNH needs and be involved in the decision-making within the health sector. During the PCAs, participants identify and prioritize needs and propose solutions to improve MNH, solutions which are then integrated in the annual district health action plan. Integrated interventions include: promotion of birth preparedness and complication readiness; training health care providers in counselling skills; building awareness of men on MNH issues and their capacity to support women; and strengthening community bodies to manage obstetrical and neonatal complications. The inclusion of these interventions has contributed to the advancement of PHC in three regions in Burkina Faso.     

Article Details

Regular Articles


. World Health Organization. Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013 [Internet]. Geneva: WHO, 2014. Available from:

. United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization, World Bank, United Nations. Levels and trends in child mortality: Report 2014. New York: UNICEF, 2014. Available at:

. International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata. Declaration of Alma-Ata, 1978. Available from:

. World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2008 - Primary Health Care: Now More Than Ever. [Internet]. Geneva: WHO, 2008. Available from:

. 5. Burkina Faso Ministry of Health. Plan d’accélération de réduction de la mortalité maternelle et néonatale au Burkina Faso: feuille de route [Acceleration plan for the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality: Road Map]. Ouagoudougou: Burkina Faso Ministry of Health, 2006.

. World Health Organization. Working with individuals, families and communities to improve maternal and newborn health [Internet]. Geneva: WHO, 2010. Available at:

. World Health Organization. Counselling for maternal and newborn health care. Geneva: WHO, 2013. Available from:

Perkins J, Bargo A. Training health workers to provide person-centred maternal and newborn health care in Burkina Faso. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 2013; 3: 152-7.