UNFPA Representative in Burkina Faso, Dr. Mamadou Kante (second from left), at the meeting with state and NGO representatives.
In Burkina Faso the unmet need for family planning stands at a low 29 per cent, which contributes to the country’s fifth highest population growth rate in the world. In order to remedy this, UNFPA gathered together the country’s three main development actors to reflect on how to work together to enhance family planning in the country.
Representatives of the state, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) met on 4 May to tackle the integration of family planning into development programmes, in particular that of NGOs. The meeting was chaired by the UNFPA Representative in Burkina, Dr. Mamadou Kante, and was attended by UNICEF, Plan Burkina, Family Care International, Save the Children, Christian Aid, Marie Stopes International, Medicus Mundi Andalucia and the Directorate for Mother and Child Health in the Ministry of Health.
The Director for Mother and Child Health Directorate described the context of family planning in Burkina Faso.
Current interventions by NGOs provide ample opportunities to mainstream family planning into the activities. For example, the NGO Plan Burkina intervenes in eight provinces in conjunction with 2000 women’s associations.
The Resident Representative said he hoped for guidance from the Ministry of Health in order to mainstream family planning into its activities. The NGOs expressed their readiness to integrate family planning into their activities and stressed that while this may not be their core business, the current population growth overshadowed the success of their programmes. Their willingness to assist with family planning was welcomed by the Director for Mother and Child Health.
Also on the agenda for discussion was the link between education, fertility and family planning, as well as the introduction of sexual education in teacher training curricula.
The meeting served as a starting point for unity of action to accelerate the promotion of family planning in Burkina. The participants are to meet every six months.