Health in Burkina Faso
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The government of Burkina Faso took on the project of improving the quality of health services by upgrading facilities and skills, achieving control of endemic parasitic diseases, and strengthening sector institutions. Total health care expenditures were an estimated 4.1% of GDP. Central government spending on health was 3% in 2001.
As of 2004, it was estimated that there were as few as 6 physicians per 100,000 people. In addition there were only 41 nurses, and 13 midwives per 100,000 people. However, the hospital at Ouagadougou is one of the most modern in Africa. Medical centers at Bobo-Dioulasso carry on research on insect-borne diseases. Mobile medical units attempt to control leprosy, sleeping sickness, yellow fever, and other contagious diseases.
One of Burkina Faso’s most serious health problems is onchocerciasis (river blindness), which touches 84% of the total land area and causes many thousands of people to desert settlements infected by the fly vector. A control program has had some success. About two-thirds of Burkina Faso residents have access to safe water. In early 1997, a meningitis epidemic in West Africa spread to Burkina Faso, resulting in 724 deaths out of 5,571 cases.
Maternal and Child Healthcare
In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Burkina Faso is 560. This is compared with 332.4 in 2008 and 487.5 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 169 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 22. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Burkina Faso the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 5 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 28.
The incidence of low-birth weight babies was 21% in 1993–96. As of 2000, only 12% of married women (ages 15 to 49) used contraception. As of 1999, Burkina Faso immunized children up to one year old as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 42% and measles, 53%. The fertility rate per woman was 6.6 in 2004.
Average life expectancy at birth in 2008 was estimated at 52 for females and 51 for males. In 2007 1.6% of people 15-49 have HIV/AIDS. The mortality rate from HIV/AIDS in 2007 was 62 per 100,000. According to the World Health Organization in 2005 an estimated 72.5% of Burkina Faso's girls and women have suffered female genital mutilation.
- "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Accessed August 2011.