Jhpiego was founded in 1973 to provide technical assistance to countries where the risk of maternal mortality and morbidity was quite high. While focusing on local capacity building from the start, Jhpiego’s model for technical assistance has evolved. Burkina Faso first benefitted in 1983 by having health staff attend intensive training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Subsequently Jhpiego’s work moved to the field, and some of the early trainees became staff on the ground.
Jhpiego established an office in Ouagadougou in 1996, and one of the earliest projects focused on malaria in pregnancy as part of USAID’s flagship program “Maternal and Neonatal Health” (MNH). It was during that time that Jhpiego collaborated with partners like CDC to do some of the early testing of the intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) in West Africa. The results of this life-saving intervention were published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Jhpiego continued to provide technical assistance on malaria in pregnancy interventions and capacity building to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Burkina Faso through the MNH project and into its successor, USAID’s ACCESS project. Jhpiego worked with partners to update malaria guidelines, training materials, supervisory tools and job aids during this period.
In 2009 USAID presented the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project (MCHIP) with the opportunity to carry out an integrated package of malaria care and prevention strengthening with the MOH and particularly the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP). Over a period of three years Jhpiego, the lead organization in MCHIP, working with together with partners from the NMCP and MOH, was able to accomplish among others the following:
- Updating Malaria policy and guidelines
- Updating Malaria supervisory tools and training of supervisors
- Updating In-service training materials on malaria and training of health facility staff
- Developing a Strategic communications plan and strategy for malaria
- Forming of curriculum update committee on malaria at national training schools for primary health staff
- Training of US Peace Corps Volunteers to support malaria activities in their communities
- Building the capacity and organizational strengthening for the NMCP itself
- Conducting a situation analysis of rapid diagnostic test acceptance and use
- Undertaking a health systems analysis of the strengths and bottlenecks of malaria program implementation in Burkina Faso
Last week, the Burkina Faso office of Jhpiego hosted the organization’s African Malaria Technical Update Workshop with staff from 15 countries participating. Today Jhpiego is taking its 40th Anniversary celebrations to Ouagadougou. Jhpiego will express appreciation to local partners in the fight against malaria and threats to maternal and child health.
Jhpiego has been committed on the ground in Burkina Faso to building national capacity for controlling malaria specifically for over 15 years. The recent award by USAID of its bilateral program “Improving Malaria Care” to Jhpiego last October cements Jhpiego’s commitment to the country and to reducing malaria for another five years.