In a sign of Burkina Faso’s dedication to family planning, the Minister of Health appointed Anne Thieba, wife of Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba, as an ambassador. Mrs. Thieba’s appointment comes as Burkina Faso finalizes its second family planning costed implementation plan aiming for a contraceptive prevalence rate of 32% by 2020. This significant show of political support will help the Ministry of Health and its partners intensify efforts.
At a moving ceremony to announce her new role on May 12th, the Minister of Health spoke of his trust that the ambassador would contribute to achieving Burkina Faso’s family planning and development objectives, including the goals of Family Planning 2020, the Ouagadougou Partnership, and the national Family Planning Acceleration Plan (2017-2020).
Held in Sandogo, the high-level ceremony was organized with the support of USAID (through its Agir pour la Planification Familiale and Health Policy Plus projects), UNFPA, and Marie Stopes International.
In the short time since her appointment, Mrs. Thieba visited clinics, attended key meetings, and secured a strong commitment from the country’s President and the national assembly president to collaborate and increase the national family planning budget. She will continue to engage all key actors every six months to promote the active participation of women and girls in family planning; make decisions that will help spur the country’s demographic dividend; and ensure active participation of public and private sectors.
Burkina Faso is at the forefront of the effective repositioning of family planning in Francophone West Africa. The political commitment in this country is making an impact—the latest PMA2020 survey shows that the country’s contraceptive prevalence rate has increased to approximately 22% from approximately 16% in 2014.
Advance Family Planning local and regional partners, Equilibres & Populations and Palladium West Africa, hope that Mrs. Thieba’s example will inspire other leaders in the region to become more involved, as Francophone West Africa’s family planning indicators are among the lowest.