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How do households choose between health providers? results from qualitative fieldwork in Burkina Faso

Publication Date
  • I11 - Analysis Of Health Care Markets
  • I15 - Health And Economic Development
  • I18 - Government Policy
  • Regulation
  • Public Health
  • Medicine


This paper provides results from qualitative fieldwork conducted in 2010 in Burkina Faso to understand the factors that lead households to rely on traditional as opposed to modern health providers, and within modern providers, on faith-inspired as opposed to public facilities. While there is an overall preference for modern care, households still rely on traditional healers for specific health issues that they encounter. As to the choice between modern providers, faith-inspired clinics and hospitals are perceived as being characterized by lower costs and higher quality of service than public facilities. Faith-inspired facilities are well regarded in their surrounding communities and patients are willing to travel significant distances to receive care from the facilities. Although these providers vary in size and religious affiliation, they share a similar goal of offering affordable services to the poor and doing so in a way that fosters closer relationships between individuals, communities and the healthcare system. Their approach and services thus helps in expanding options for care, especially for those who for feel marginalized in the public health system.

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