Maintaining continuity of essential reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Francophone West Africa

Yves Mongbo, Issiaka Sombié, Blami Dao, Ermel AK Johnson, Léopold Ouédraogo, Fatim Tall, Chilanga Asmani, Kofi Busia, Nanlop Ogbureke, Marguerite Ndour, Isidore Y Sinkondo


The study aimed to analyse the challenges and solutions for maintaining the continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Francophone West Africa. A cross-sectional study involving the managers of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and vaccination programmes in Francophone West Africa was designed. The challenges that limited the supply and use of RMNCAH services included: lack of standardized guides and procedures for appropriate care, limited knowledge of health workers on the new coronavirus disease, lack of diagnostic materials and kits, ineffective organization of services, anxieties of health workers and populations, and postponement of immunisation mass campaigns. The solutions proposed to address these challenges, included better organization of services to respect the physical distance, provision of adapted guides and care procedures, enhanced communication, training of health workers, effective use of social media and information and communication technologies. This study showed that the managers of RMNCAH programmes are aware of the challenges that could limit the supply and use of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[2]: 76-85).

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