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CDC in Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso at a Glance

  • Population: 17,886,000
  • Per capita income: $1,560
  • Life expectancy at birth women/men: 57/56 yrs
  • Under 5 mortality: 70/1,000 live births
Source: Population Reference Bureau, 2014

Map of Africa with Burkina Faco highlightedThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began an ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Government (MoH) of Burkina Faso in 1991 to provide guidance for polio eradication. This collaboration has expanded to include other important health issues. CDC has most recently focused on strengthening the country’s public health system, introducing and evaluating new vaccines, and continuing to work toward polio eradication and measles elimination. While CDC does not maintain an office in Burkina Faso, staff are detailed to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) sub-regional office in Ouagadougou. In addition, there are STOP polio teams that rotate through on a regular basis.


CDC, in collaboration with in-country immunization partners (including Peace Corps, the University of Ouagadougou, UNICEF and WHO), provides technical and financial support to Burkina Faso for polio eradication and measles elimination activities. In 2009 Burkina Faso experienced its largest measles outbreak on record (>50,000 cases). CDC provided assistance with the outbreak epidemiology and subsequently with designing and implementing studies investigating the risk factors associated with contracting measles during the outbreak. Burkina Faso will be conducting a campaign to introduce combined measles-rubella vaccine in November 2014; CDC has offered technical assistance for the campaign. Though Burkina Faso has not detected a wild poliovirus case since October 2009, the country is considered moderate risk for polio based on immunization rates, surveillance and proximity to countries with recent outbreaks (Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger).  Burkina Faso continues to conduct preventive nationwide polio vaccination campaigns in order to maintain the immunity of its under 5 population. For recent nationwide polio vaccination campaigns, CDC provided assistance with planning, implementation, and supervision of campaign activities.

Rotavirus Surveillance

CDC has supported the development and implementation of country-wide hospital-based sentinel site surveillance for rotavirus in Burkina Faso in collaboration with the MOH and WHO. Since December 2013, Burkina Faso has intensified effort to implement rotavirus surveillance protocol and at present, 4 surveillance sites are functional and enroll patients.


CDC’s Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch (MVPDB) collaborates with Burkina Faso Ministry of Health and meningitis network partners (including WHO) on building capacities for meningitis surveillance, and meningitis vaccine effectiveness and public health impact evaluation.  In 2010, a new meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac), was introduced countrywide targeting more than 11 million individuals aged 1 to 29 years old.  Data generated by the country meningitis surveillance system, which has benefited from sustained collaboration with CDC, enabled a successful introduction of the new vaccine followed by an assessment of effectiveness and impact on meningitis epidemics. Surveillance data from Burkina Faso has demonstrated substantial immediate impact on the disease with no cases of Serogroup A meningococcal meningitis occurring among vaccinated individuals in Burkina Faso. However, further data are required to assess MenAfriVac’s long-term impact and to evaluate the need for and effectiveness of future vaccines. The CDC’s MVPDB is committed to continue its collaboration with Burkina Faso in building and sustaining capacities for disease surveillance.


Impact in Burkina Faso

  • Burkina Faso second country in African region to introduce Rotateq vaccine for Rotavirus.
  • 17 million doses of polio vaccine and 2.4 million doses of measles vaccine were given to children under five
  • The last wild poliovirus case was detected in 2009
  • More than 12 million people were vaccinated against meningitis


Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)

An image of Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)CDC, in collaboration with the ministries of health of the eight French-Speaking countries of West Africa, and the University of Ouagadougou, through funding from the World Bank, is planning to re-launch and expand the West Africa Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (WAFELTP), begun in 2010. This regional FELTP will be based in Ouagadougou and will enroll residents from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The two-year training and service program is modeled after CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.  It is designed for health professionals in entry- or mid-level positions and is intended to build their capacity in applied epidemiology, surveillance, and enhanced public health practice. The World Bank, via WAHO and the CDC Foundation, has provided $2.5 million for a period of three years for the West-African FELTP.  During the project period--ending December 2017--it is expected that the program will enroll two cohorts of 15 residents each.

Top 10 Causes of Death in Burkina Faso

Source: GBD Compare, 2010.
  1. Malaria 22%
  2. Lower respiratory infections 13%
  3. Diarrheal disease 12%
  4. Meningitis 5%
  5. HIV/AIDS 3%
  1. Preterm Birth Complications 3%
  2. Protein-energy Malnutrition 3%
  3. Road Injuries 3%
  4. Stroke 3%
  5. Sepsis 2%
CDC assigned staff only
1 U.S. Assignees
No Locally Employed


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  • Page last reviewed: February 20, 2014
  • Page last updated: February 20, 2014
  • Content source: Global Health
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