By Akanimo Sampson
Pathfinder International is leading the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded health service delivery programme in Burkina Faso.
It was awarded $35 million by USAID for PRÉPAration pour la RÉsilience au BURKINA (PREPARE-BURKINA) to strengthen health systems and build community resilience in the country.
Pathfinder International is concern with championing sexual and reproductive health, and rights worldwide, mobilising communities most in need to break through barriers and forge their own path to a healthier future.
PREPARE- BURKINA is however, part of USAID’s Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISEII) project, which supports vulnerable communities in Burkina Faso to effectively prepare for and manage recurrent crises and pursue sustainable pathways out of poverty.
Pathfinder is a respected and trusted leader in the field of reproductive health in Burkina Faso, and played a leadership role in the design of the project under the country’s Universal Health Coverage initiative led by the Ministry of Health.
It is working in partnership with Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger), and four local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—Association Tin Tua, Association pour la Gestion de l’Environnement et le Développement, Action pour la Promotion des Initiatives Locales, and Alliance Technique d’Assistance au Développement.
The project is being implemented in three regions in Northern Burkina that are particularly vulnerable to violent extremism and environmental shocks: Centre Nord, Sahel, and Est.
PREPARE-BURKINA is working to address the root causes of persistent vulnerability, and to improve health and nutrition while strengthening community institutions and governance critical to resilience.
It is focusing on building resilience by: Increasing availability, accessibility of quality health services including family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition services; and rebuilding communities’ confidence in health structures, and health authorities.
Others include strengthening links between community and facility health services; enhancing disaster preparedness, management, and response; and empowering and engaging youth.
“The goal of the project is to improve access to quality health services in the country in partnership with citizens and local government, while building community resilience to shocks by creating mutually supportive cycles of routine and emergency service delivery”, said Chief of Party Robert de Wolfe.
“Through this program, we will work to reverse cyclical social and economic degradation from repeated shocks, grow communities’ resilience, support youth, and increase security to communities.”
According to Murtala Mai, Pathfinder’s Chief of Country and Program Strategy: “Our focus at the health facility level will be on inclusive and non-discriminatory services for all, including youth, the poor, and displaced populations.
‘’ The project will work at the systems level to train staff and equip health facilities. All project activities will be aligned with the Ministry of Health’s Community Health Strategy, the National Resilience Strategy, and the Universal Health Coverage Initiative.”