Early Chilhood Years
Early Childhood: Ensuring a good start for children
In Burkina Faso, as in so many other West African countries, the overall situation of very young children is a cause for concern. Around one fifth of all children die before they reach the age of five.
In terms of early childhood education, children under three who are not at home with their mothers go to day care centers and nurseries. Some are in orphanages—which operate particularly in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. A little over one per cent of children under six are placed in Bisongo, a community-based integrated early childhood development Center, for 3-6 years children in rural and sub urban area, which also help to relieve older girls of childcare so they can go to school, and free women for income generation and other self-development activities such as literacy classes.
Access to water and sanitation is a major issue for young children, who are more vulnerable to waterborne diseases. In rural areas, and in the outlying areas of the larger cities, access of households to drinking water and hygiene and sanitary facilities, remains severely limited.
Children suffer the lack of civil status. Despite an ongoing birth registration campaign by UNICEF and partners since 2003, only 33% of children are registered at birth. The problem is especially acute in rural areas. Girls in particular undergo various forms of abuse and exploitation, including female genital mutilation/cutting, physical abuse, and sexual violence.
UNICEF has partnered with the government in developing a strategic framework to combat poverty, and a National Plan of Action to address these various issues.