Cahiers d'études et de recherches francophones / Santé


Financial cost of health care in Burkina Faso : a study of women who had a high risk delivery Volume 7, issue 1, Janvier-Février 1997

Faculté des Sciences de la santé, 01 BP 815, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Page(s) : 33-7
  • Published in: 1997

Our aim was to analyze the financial costs of health care for women in labor transferred to primary referral maternity units for childbirth at risk. Another aim was to consider the willingness of women and their husbands to financially save and support the increasing costs of health care. For 15 consecutive days, medical students interviewed all women transferred for a risky delivery in 12 of the 17primary referral maternity units in Burkina Faso. The median cost for transferring the women and their necessary health care was approximately 30,500 CFA. The median cost for the kit of surgical supplies was 15,000 CFA ; the costs of medicine and transportation fare for the woman and her husband were 14,000 CFA and 9,800 CFA, respectively. The median cost for the health care of the newborn was 2,400 CFA. When the decision for the transfer was made, the necessary money to pay for the expenses was available for only 40 out of 79 women. Women and their husbands were willing to save for health care either through existing community institutions such as groups of villagers and popular savings developments (69 women and men) ; or through annuity schemes to be created (33 women and men) ; or through banks (4 women and men). Four women and 6 men refused to contribute because of previous experiences of poor management of collective funds. The average savings were low and insufficient to cover the expected expenses for the transfer and care of the women. The savings were reserved for payment of the transportation fare for the women and their husbands to the referral units (21 women and 20 men), prescriptions (9 women and 5 men), the medical consultation (1 woman), and to provide for both (37 women and 39 men). The costs of health care are expensive. The poverty of the couple facing an urgent problem of life or death made them discover new options for investing in their available community associations such as groups of villagers and popular savings developments and other options such as annuity schemes. A policy directed towards the involvement of these populations could facilitate the transfer and treatment of women during their pregnancy.