“You need someone in a grand boubou” – barriers and means to access ARTs in West Africa


Assisted reproductive technologies, ART, barriers, infertility private health sector, West Africa.

V. Hörbst

Center for African and Brasilian Studies (CEAB). School for Social and Political Science (ISCSP). Technical University of Lisbon (UTL). CEAB-ISCSP-UTL, Rua Almerindo Lessa, 1300-663 Lisboa, Portugal.


Many francophone West African countries rank as low resource states, and are dependent on donor nations and remittances from migrants working abroad. Their health system is in a less favourable state and basic health care is not accessible for all its citizens, and in particular, private clinics offer highly specialized services such as assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) for infertility care. Drawing from my research on ARTs particularly in Mali but also including Senegal and Togo, I will specifically outline the contextual barriers for African actors, both patients and professionals, to gain access to ARTs in the public or private health sector and mechanisms they have developed to cope with them.