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Open Access Open Badges Research

How decision for seeking maternal care is made - a qualitative study in two rural medical districts of Burkina Faso

Donmozoun Télesphore Somé1*, Issiaka Sombié2 and Nicolas Meda3

Author Affiliations

1 Société d’Etudes et de Recherche en Santé Publique (SERSAP), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

2 West African Health Organization (WAHO), Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

3 Centre Muraz, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

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Reproductive Health 2013, 10:8  doi:10.1186/1742-4755-10-8

Published: 7 February 2013



Delay in decision-making to use skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth is an important factor for maternal death in many developing countries. This paper examines how decisions for maternal care are made in two rural communities in Burkina Faso.


Focus group discussions (FGDs) and individual interviews (IDIs)) were used to collect information with 30 women in Ouargaye and Diapaga medical districts. All interviews were tape recorded and analyzed using QSR Nvivo 2.0.


Decision-making for use of obstetric care in the family follows the logic of the family’s management. Husbands, brothers-in-law and parents-in-law make the decision about whether to use a health facility for antenatal care or for delivery. In general, decision-makers are those who can pay, including the woman herself. Payment of care is the responsibility of men, according to women interviewed, because of their social role and status.


To increase use of health facilities in Ouargaye and Diapaga, the empowerment of women could be helpful as well as exemption of fees or cost sharing for care.

Decision-making process; Maternal care; Rural medical district; Burkina Faso