Improving poor women's access to maternity care: Findings from a primary care intervention in Burkina Faso

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Sep;69(5):682-90. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.06.023.


To date, there has been little progress in reducing wealth inequities in access to maternity care. This paper describes the results of a maternal health intervention in Burkina Faso that was aimed at increasing access to skilled maternity care by improving availability and quality of maternity care, particularly at primary care health facilities, and promoting its use before, during, and after delivery. Post-intervention data show a large overall increase in use of facility-based maternity care in the intervention district, particularly at primary care facilities, but little change in the comparison district. In addition, large wealth inequities in the use of professional care during childbirth were almost eliminated in the intervention district while they increased in the comparison district-both among all women, and among the subset of women who reported experiencing complications during delivery. Study results suggest that efforts to upgrade maternity services at primary care facilities may be key for improving poor women's access to and use of skilled care during childbirth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burkina Faso
  • Clinical Competence
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Health Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Healthcare Disparities / economics*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Primary Health Care / standards
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Women's Health
  • Workforce