This paper was published on December 15, 2015 in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. This cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted in Nouna Health District, Burkina Faso, and is about understanding home delivery in a context of user fee reduction in Africa.

Manuela de AllegriJustin TiendrebéogoOlaf MüllerMaurice YéAlbrecht Jahn and Valéry Ridde all contributed to this work.  



Background: Several African countries have recently reduced/removed user fees for maternal care, producing considerable increases in the utilization of delivery services. Still, across settings, a conspicuous number of women continue to deliver at home. This study explores reasons for home delivery in rural Burkina Faso, where a successful user fee reduction policy is in place since 2007.

Methods: The study took place in the Nouna Health District and adopted a triangulation mixed methods design, combining quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods. The quantitative component relied on use of data from the 2011 round of a panel household survey conducted on 1130 households. We collected data on utilization of delivery services from all women who had experienced a delivery in the previous twelve months and investigated factors associated with home delivery using multivariate logistic regression. The qualitative component relied on a series of open-ended interviews with 55 purposely selected households and 13 village leaders. We analyzed data using a mixture of inductive and deductive coding.

Results: Of the 420 women who reported a delivery, 47 (11 %) had delivered at home. Random effect multivariate logistic regression revealed a clear, albeit not significant trend for women from a lower socio-economic status and living outside an area to deliver at home. Distance to the health facility was found to be positively significantly associated with home delivery. Qualitative findings indicated that women and their households valued facility-based delivery above home delivery, suggesting that cultural factors do not shape the decision where to deliver. Qualitative findings confirmed that geographical access, defined in relation to the condition of the roads and the high transaction costs associated with travel, and the cost-sharing fees still applied at point of use represent two major barriers to access facility-based delivery.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that the current policy in Burkina Faso, as similar policies in the region, should be expanded to remove fees at point of use completely and to incorporate benefits/solutions to support the transport of women in labor to the health facility in due time.

Download the full paper:

De Allegri, M., Tiendrebéogo, J., Müller, O., Yé, M., Jahn, A., & Ridde, V. (2015). Understanding home delivery in a context of user fee reduction: a cross-sectional mixed methods study in rural Burkina Faso. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 15(1). Download