Health Insurance and the challenges of public response to Pandemics in Burkina Faso: Exploring the role of the informal economy

Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024     |     PP. 347-365      |     PDF (232 K)    |     Pub. Date: October 23, 2022
DOI: 10.54647/sociology84916    76 Downloads     791 Views  


Natéwindé Sawadogo, Institut Universitaire de Formations Initiale et Continue, Université Thomas SANKARA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Economic barriers remain the main challenge facing households regarding healthcare access in Burkina Faso. Universal health coverage is yet to be extended to the majority of the population, especially the most vulnerable. Furthermore, access to community based health insurance has been so far impeded by the financial challenges facing household to contribute. Yet, public health policy performances depend on the quantity and quality of health information. In case of epidemic outbreak, apart from mass testing, the standard sources of health information for decision-making are based on populations’ demand for healthcare services. This paper explores the state of the economic determinants of this demand. The results of these analyses provide the basis for the evaluation of the impact of the economic situation of households on the government of Burkina Faso’s response to the covid-19. The data used for the analysis come from two main sources. Firstly, a systematic documentary review of macro macroeconomic policy and social security regimes in the country has been conducted. Secondly, a survey of the economic living conditions of 503 households in Ouagadougou is conducted. The analysis uses a conceptual lens drawn from classical sociological analysis of public problems, which provided the framework for the qualitative analysis. The paper argued that the dependence of public policy process on information constituted some constraints for government effective response to the pandemic to the extent that the macroeconomic context and the households’ economic circumstances stand as barriers to households’ access to health services - through which further information on the population could have been gained, in the absence of mass systematic testing. The results show that households have been resilient to the chock caused by the pandemic. From 2014 health policy measures started to reverse the trend in government’s interventions in healthcare access that mitigated the negative impacts of several decades of privatization of healthcare services. Recent policy measures facilitated healthcare access for children aged less than five years and pregnant women, thus reducing households’ health expenditures. Furthermore, the households in the informal sector suffered less from the restrictions due to the covid-19, as they benefited from the increase in domestic demand for goods and services in some of the branches of the economy.

health insurance; covid-19; Burkina Faso; public pandemic response; challenges

Cite this paper
Natéwindé Sawadogo, Health Insurance and the challenges of public response to Pandemics in Burkina Faso: Exploring the role of the informal economy , SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024 | PP. 347-365. 10.54647/sociology84916


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