Despite an increase in government funding and a wider expansion of healthcare interventions in the country, Burkina Faso continues to face health challenges, particularly in the form of communicable diseases. Malaria is highly endemic in Burkina Faso and highly seasonal; most malaria cases and deaths in under-fives occur during the rainy season, and the country accounts for four percent of malaria deaths worldwide. We work closely with the Ministry of Health in addressing this through our seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) programme. The success of SMC in Burkina Faso has enabled us to explore additional opportunities to support some of the country's most pressing health needs.
Malaria Consortium has been a leading implementer of SMC since WHO issued its recommendation to scale up this intervention in 2012. Following the end of the ACCESS-SMC project in 2017, we have continued to support national malaria programmes in Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria and Togo to deliver SMC. In 2021, our programme aims to reach more than 20 million children. We are also conducting research exploring the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of SMC outside of the Sahel in Mozambique and Uganda.
ACCESS-SMC was a UNITAID-funded project, led by Malaria Consortium in 2014-2017, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, to support the National Malaria Control Program in scaling up access to seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) to save children’s lives across seven countries in the Sahel.
Malaria Consortium established an office in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in December 2014 as part of the ACCESS-SMC project and have continued to deliver seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) projects in the country since then. In 2021, Malaria Consortium supported SMC in 27 health districts across six regions of Burkina Faso, to reach approximately 1.9 million children under five.
We work with government and implementing partners to plan campaigns, increase community engagement, distribute antimalarials and undertake operational research to provide technical advice and the necessary evidence for the Ministry of Health and other partners to make informed decisions about adaptation and innovation in SMC at regional and national levels. We have also begun to explore the potential of digital solutions to strengthen health systems in the country.