Addressing the Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health and Family Planning Needs of Young, First-Time Parents in the Eastern Region of Burkina Faso (Report)

Cover of Burkina Faso Phase 1 reportIn 2018, Evidence to Action (E2A) Project and Pathfinder International Burkina Faso began implementing a new initiative for young first-time parents (FTPs) in the Fada and Diapaga districts in the Eastern Region of Burkina Faso, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The FTP project “Supporting Reproductive Health Services for Young First Time Parents in Burkina Faso” focused on women under the age of 25 who are pregnant for the first time or have one child, and their husbands. The project included both community- and facility-level interventions with the goal of increasing the use of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH) care—especially antenatal care (ANC) and obstetric and neonatal services—and family planning (FP) uptake among FTPs.

The FTP project generated valuable evidence and insights about working with this vulnerable population and how best to respond to their RMNCH/FP needs. This report presents an overview of the FTP project and the RMNCH/FP-related results.

This FTP work in Burkina Faso, along with similar E2A efforts in Nigeria and Tanzania, is part of an evolving body of work to increase global awareness and evidence on programming for FTPs. E2A’s focus on FTPs grew out of efforts to understand the diversity of youth reproductive health experiences and needs. A 2014 review of global data pointed to a large subset of young FTMs who are at increased risk of poor pregnancy, delivery, and child health outcomes, a situation compounded by multiple factors that limit their access to timely health information and services.

Despite these vulnerabilities, young FTPs have historically been overlooked by adolescent and youth family planning and reproductive health programs. E2A has prioritized closing this global gap by reaching FTPs in multiple contexts—including the Eastern Region of Burkina Faso—with health and gender interventions and by gathering new evidence on effective programming for this subset of youth.