West Africa Country Director Briefs Congressional Delegation on Burkina Faso Health Programs
A Congressional delegation (CODEL) led by Representative Karen Bass (D-California) and including Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) were in Burkina Faso October 5-6, 2019. The CODEL met with U.S. Government (USG)-funded health programs in Burkina Faso on October 4, 2019, at the Chief of Mission Residence. Representatives Bass and Jackson Lee joined U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, along with USAID and US CDC staff and their implementing partners, to share successes gained with USG health programs and discuss challenges that include security and a large number of internally displaced people (486,360 as of October 2019).
Mr. Modibo Maiga, the country director for the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) project briefed the CODEL on the key achievement and impact of the project. Mr. Maiga highlighted the strong collaboration between USAID and Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Health, highlighting the important role that community leaders, including religious leaders and youth, have played in mobilizing domestic resources for health and catalyzing policy change in support of family planning, adolescent reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS.
The representatives are members of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights and International Organizations (Reps. Bass and Omar) as well as the Homeland Security committee and subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence (Rep. Jackson Lee). Rep. Bass, chairwoman of the subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, stated the following during the meeting: “displaced persons have different, and often more urgent, material needs. These special needs have often been ignored in situational approaches. Consequently, the internally displaced frequently suffer the highest mortality rates in humanitarian emergencies.”
Mr. Maiga shared that HP+ advocacy efforts with local stakeholders called on decision makers to ensure that all citizens—including the displaced—receive high quality family planning, reproductive health, and HIV services, citing the costed implementation plans for family planning, funded by USAID and developed in collaboration with Burkina Faso Ministry of Health and all in country stakeholders including youth. Mr. Maiga also briefed the delegation on efforts the Ministry of Health is taking to reinforce the role of community health workers while ensuring primary health care.