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West African Reproductive Health Costs

  • 2010-2012
  • Project
Sundby, Johanne, University of Oslo

Study: “West African Reproductive Health Costs: An In-Depth Study Into Associations Between Poverty and Access to Emergency Pregnancy Health Care”
PI(s): Sundby, Johanne
Co-PI(s): Storeng, Katerini; Outtara, Fatoumata; Cham, Mamdey; Filippi, Veronique
Affiliation(s): University of Oslo
Institutional Partner(s): RCN
Project Dates:
Start: 2010
Data Source(s): Panel and Surveillance Data
Methods: Qualitative Analysis; IV Econometric Analysis
Geographic Location(s): Burkina Faso; The Gambia

In recent years, there have been urgent calls for focused research on the relationship between poverty and various aspects of reproductive health (including maternal health and abortion). Women’s interactions with poorly functioning, inaccessible, and frequently hostile reproductive health services constitute an intrinsic part of the experience of poverty. The relationship between reproductive health and poverty is widely acknowledged at the international level: Universal access to reproductive health care, as well as reductions in pregnancy-related deaths, have been endorsed at a global level as targets for measuring progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the dominant international development paradigm for poverty reduction. This project examines the relationship between reproductive health and poverty in two sub-Saharan African countries, focusing on women’s experiences relating to care-seeking for pregnancy, delivery, and abortion within the context of weak health systems and endemic poverty. It focuses on pregnant women in Burkina Faso and the Gambia and their pregnancy-related health, the underlying problems of high mortality and morbidity from pregnancy and abortion complications, difficult access to health services, poor quality of health services, and high costs associated with emergency care. Results from Burkina Faso show that the limited availability and poor quality of maternal health services lead to a higher risk of immediate death or a long-term disability/illness, up to four years after delivery among women who have severe complications during pregnancy. The policy implications are to address both countries’ health policies, and to address areas where improvement in health services is necessary.

Research Outputs:
Ilboudo, Patrick, Greco, Giulia, Sundby, Johanne & Torsvik, Gaute. (2016). Estimating the costs for the treatment of abortion complications in two public referral hospitals: a cross-sectional study in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1822-7

Ilboudo, Patrick et al. (2015). Costs and consequences of abortions to women and their households: a cross-sectional study in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Health Policy Plan, 30(4): 500-507. DOI: 10.1093/heapol/czu025

Ouédraogo, R. & Ouattara, Fatoumata. (2012). Vulnérabilité séquentielle des jeunes femmes face à l’avortement : incidence des normes sociales et juridiques à Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). In P. Fournier, S. Haddad, V. Ridde, A-M. Turcotte-Tremblay & M. O’Neill (Eds.), Santé maternelle et accès aux soins en Afrique de l’Ouest. Montréal: Centre de recherche CHUM.

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