Support for preparing a health financing strategy in Burkina Faso

  UN Photo Bank Eskinder Debebe

WHO leadership in Burkina Faso steadily brought convergence towards joint government support for the elaboration of a universal health coverage (UHC) health financing strategy, as well as the Cabinet’s adoption of the universal health insurance (RAMU-BF) scheme in April. The WHO contributed to enlarging the Ministry of Health’s vision of financing so that it is not limited to resource mobilization, but is more systematic.

The RAMU bill aims to set up a legal framework necessary for the operationalization of health insurance in Burkina Faso, to widen social protection, and to facilitate access to health care for the population. The decree also allows a free annual medical examination for pensioners.

For the national strategy, the WHO carried out discussions within the framework of the “health technical and financial partners” (PTF) group meetings. The exchanges focused on financial access to services and health financing strategies in Burkina Faso. A number of the partners and non-governmental organizations involved in mechanisms of support or invested in specific problems appreciated the WHO’s leadership. The regularity and wealth of exchanges of the sector-based partnership proved particularly useful to them.

WHO support of the Ministry of public service, work, and social security was often directed towards a better dialogue with the Ministry of Health or Finance. They prepared a project document for the application of RAMU in the form of pilot projects, integrating financial hypotheses, the identification of zones and the implementation of the process in the informal sector.

Until now, the absence of a health financing strategy had limited the impact of initiatives to improve financial access to services. Several public and private initiatives had been launched to improve accessibility to health care, but the absence of coordination, complementarity and synergy between these initiatives had reduced their impact on reducing direct health care expenses for the population.

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