Notes to broadcasters
Only about one-third of pregnant women in Burkina Faso attend eight pre-natal visits as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 2% of women are at risk of dying during their reproductive years in the country from causes related to maternity.
It is believed that direct obstetric causes are responsible for about 80% of maternal deaths, and the maternal mortality rate was estimated at 341 out of 100,000 in 2010. Up to two-thirds of maternal deaths may occur outside the health system as a result of late identification of dangers, late transportation to a medical facility, or at home following a delivery.
Both the quality and usage of health services need improvement in Burkina Faso, including obstetric care. There are major challenges related to the difficulties of transport to care facilities, the lack of knowledge of the risks involved in pregnancy, socio-cultural practices, the poor capacity of women to make decisions regarding their own health, the quality of health services, and citizens’ perception that the quality of services is poor.
This script discusses maternal health, the main causes of maternal mortality, and men’s involvement in the process of pregnancy. To talk about it, we interviewed female and male midwives, maternal and child health specialists, fathers, mothers, and pregnant women.
This script is based on actual interviews. You could use it as inspiration to research and write a script on maternal health or a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
The estimated duration of this script, with signature tune, intro, and extro is 20 minutes.
To talk about it, we interviewed health workers, fathers and mothers of young children, female and male midwives, and medical specialists. Although maternal and infant mortality in Burkina Faso is less alarming nowadays, it is still high. Its persistence has several causes, including the low involvement of men in the process of pregnancy and childbirth, lack of information, problems of transportation and access to health centres, and the lack of equipment in some health centres.
Amsétou Tall is 17 years old, has been married traditionally for two years (Editor’s note: not a “civil” or “legal” marriage), and has not yet had a child. She is a doughnut seller in sector 4 in Koudougou where she lives with her 20-year-old butcher husband. She has already experienced a miscarriage after only three months of pregnancy, but she doesn’t know the reasons. Let’s listen to her.
After two years of marriage, do you have any children?
What is the current state of maternal and child health at the Pouni Medical Centre?
In other words, we should encourage men who already accompany women to health centres and hospitals so that they can make their peers aware of the importance of fully supporting their wives, especially during the pregnancy. It is a long-term process, but if we start, we will succeed.
How important is men’s involvement in maternal and child health?
Also, men can help their wives correctly attend prenatal visits as recommended by health services. This creates a positive emotional bond, and has a positive impact on mental health. Better still, men’s involvement contributes enormously to reducing maternal and infant mortality. It’s a pity that men are not more involved in this struggle.
What are the real causes of men’s lack of involvement in maternal and child health?
There are issues with service organizations related to the availability and skills of health workers and their ability to intervene at an early stage to ensure that care is provided. The availability of blood is also a problem, because women in labour can lose a lot of blood, and if she is not provided with enough blood promptly, she can lose her life.
Thanks to the experts on maternal and child health. Thanks to your words, we know how important it is for men to get involved in the process from pregnancy to delivery.
The male and female midwives we interviewed mentioned issues such as the lack of equipment. Also, there are delays in prenatal visits, men do not attend with their pregnant wives, pregnant women sometimes do hard physical work—these factors can sometimes complicate deliveries.
Yet it should be noted that with free services, women visit health centres more and more often, even if there are still delays. The pregnant women we met would like more privacy and better hygiene during prenatal visits. They also asked for a reduction in the cost of check-ups such as the ultrasound scan.
Thanks a lot for tuning in. Goodbye and talk to you soon.
Contributed by: Sita Diallo-Traoré, Freelance writer and researcher
Reviewed by: Christophe Ouédraogo, expert in health and nutrition, WUSC
Amsétou Tall, 17, interview conducted on July 2, 2019
Bintou Ouédraogo, 28, July 2, 2019
Mrs. Yaméogo Isabelle, September 25, 2019
Mrs. Traoré, September 25, 2019
Marie Solange Kaboré, August 29, 2019
Zeinab Kaboré, August 29, 2019
Ramdé Jean, August 29, 2019
Aminata Ilboudo-Ouédraogo, August 29, 2019
Bationo Fernand, August 30, 2019
Dr. Sylvain Soubeiga, August 30, 2019
This work was created with the support of the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada, as part of the project, “Projet d’Amélioration de la Santé des Mères et des Enfants.” This work is implemented by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in partnership with BURCASO (Conseil Burkinabé des ONG, OBC et Associations de lutte contre les IST/VIH/SIDA) and SEMUS (Solidarité et entraide mutuelle au Sahel).