In Burkina Faso, maternal and neonatal mortality remain high, and undernutrition is highly prevalent among women and children. Anemia, a contributor to maternal mortality, affects more than half of women of reproductive age in the country. Low birthweight stands at 13 percent, and one-quarter of children under five are stunted (Countdown 2030). These data indicate the need to reinforce nutrition interventions during pregnancy. The ANC platform provides an opportunity to provide this essential care. Among mothers who recently gave birth, attendance of ANC with a qualified provider was reported to be as high as 83 percent (PMA Nutrition Survey, 2020). Since 2014, Alive & Thrive (A&T) has been working in partnership with the government of Burkina Faso to improve maternal, infant, and young child nutrition.
Early on, A&T's support focused on assisting in the scale up of the government's infant and young child (IYCF) feeding guidance and services. In 2017, the government adopted the new maternal nutrition guidelines in response to the revised 2016 WHO ANC guidelines. In 2019, national directives were developed to deliver these guidelines. A&T worked in collaboration with the government and other partners to strengthen the package of maternal nutrition interventions for ANC and carried out implementation research to assess the feasibility and impact of integrating this package of maternal interventions into existing ANC services at primary health centers, known as Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale (CSPS) and into community-based health services delivered by the Agents de Santé à Base Communautaire (ASBC) community health workers. This brief shares the results of the implementation research conducted in two regions of Burkina Faso.