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The Centers of Excellence for Practical Learning Initiative: Improving Family Planning Training & Preparing for Scale-Up

Burkina Faso recognizes that meeting the health needs of its population requires improving the availability and capacities of its human resources for health.

In 2015, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Burkina Faso estimated the following density of providers: 18,000 people per doctor and 10,000 people per midwife, which falls significantly short of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Sustainable Development Goals index threshold of 4.45 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 1,000 population. In addition to this deficit of health workers, problems of service quality and availability are evident in family planning statistics. According to results from PMA2020, the contraceptive prevalence rate for all women of reproductive age was 23%, and total unmet need was 25%.3 In Burkina Faso, midwives make up the bulk of the frontline health workforce, and the Ecole Nationale de Santé Publique (National School of Public Health [ENSP]) identified inadequate practical skills training in the country’s midwifery pre-service education as a possible driver of low contraceptive use.

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