Health workforce

Supporting health workforce planning in Burkina Faso

How to maintain the health workforce in the rural areas? This is a major challenge for developing countries. Many initiatives taken by governments, including the provision of financial incentives, have not been successful in retaining health workers in the rural areas.

In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched global recommendations for increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improving retention. WHO has therefore drawn up a comprehensive set of strategies to help countries encourage health workers to live and work in remote and rural areas. These include refining the ways students are selected and educated, as well as creating better working and living conditions. The WHO document proposes sixteen evidence-based recommendations on how to improve the recruitment and retention of health workers in underserved areas. It also offers a guide to policy makers to choose the most appropriate interventions, and to implement, monitor and evaluate their impact over time.

Thereafter, various tools have been developed such as the Discrete Choice Experiment tool. A training on the utilisation of the DCE tool was jointly organised by WHO and IntraHealth International in Burkina in August 2015. 20 public health researchers from Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire’s national research institutions have been trained. The tool is being used to analyse job preferences of health workers, in order to improve the HRH retention strategies in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. The training and the studies were funded through the Muskoka French grant. The report of the workshop is available on www.santematernelle.pro platform