The Institute of Research in Health Sciences (IRSS) is a specialized structure of the National Centre of Scientific and Technologic Research (CNRST). CNRST is a state-owned scientific, cultural and technical institution (EPSCT), in charge of scientific and technological research. It was created in 1997. It has legal capacity and financial autonomy. IRSS is one of the four institutes of the Centre and has the responsibility:

  • to undertake research providing solutions to the health priority problems of the country
  • to coordinate research in the Health sector in Burkina Faso;
  • to make use of and disseminate the research findings

IRSS has established, in August 2007, a demographic surveillance site in Kaya (KADESS) in the north part of Burkina Faso. This site covers a population of 48 131 people and will serve as platform of research on HIV and reproductive health. The current director of IRSS is Professor Blaise SONDO.

For FEMHealth, IRSS’s main role is to develop the Community of Practice in the region.

Study participants:

Seni Kouanda, MD, PhD is a senior researcher, head of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health unit, site leader of Kaya Demographic and Epidemiological Surveillance system (Kadess), head of public health department. Dr Kouanda will lead in the development of the CoP in the region.

Dr Ridde Valéry is an associate researcher at the IRSS in charge of various research projects concerning the access for health care to the worst-off. VR is the co-principal investigator with JP Olivier de Sardan (LASDEL, Niger) for a research programme concerning the user fees abolition in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. With Dr Kouanda (IRSS) and Dr Yaogo (AFRICSanté) they are in charge of the Burkina Faso project. He was a part of the team directed by Dr Meessen for the UNICEF consultation on user fees abolition in Africa. Dr Ridde will support the development of the CoP in the region, and help to link FEMHealth with other relevant regional research efforts.