The Nouna Health Research Center is located in the Health District of Nouna in the North-West of Burkina Faso, some 300 km from the capital Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso is a West-African state with a population of about 11,000,000 people (World Bank, 2000).
The health system is divided into 11 administrative health regions, which comprise 53 health districts altogether. Each of the districts covers a population of 200 to 300 thousand individuals. At least one health care facility in each district is a hospital with surgery capacities (Burkina Faso Ministry of Health, 1996).
The districts themselves are again sub-divided into smaller areas of responsibility which are organized around either a hospital or a so-called CSPS (Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale), the primary health care facility in the Burkinian health system.