Benin: Our Impact

 {Crédit photo : Modeste B. Gnitona}   Le groupement de femmes Iréti’mbè et Ifèomontayo à Adja-Ouèrè a réussi à augmenter ses revenus et à créer une caisse commune de solidarité afin de couvrir les coûts liés à la santé pour ses membres.Crédit photo : Modeste B. Gnitona

Même si les soins de santé sont disponibles, ces derniers ne sont pas toujours accessibles. Au Bénin, des revenus insuffisants empêchent de nombreuses femmes et leurs enfants de payer pour des services de santé essentiels.

 {Photo credit: Modeste B. Gnitona}The women’s group Iréti’mbè and Ifèomontayo in Adja-Ouèrè has increased its income and launched a savings fund to cover the cost of health services for its members.Photo credit: Modeste B. Gnitona

Pour lire cette histoire en français, cliquez ici.Even when healthcare is available, it is not always accessible. In Benin, poverty prevents many women and their children from paying for essential health services.

 {Photo: Raphaël Gnonlonfoun, USAID Integrated Health Services Activity}A coach from Sakété-Ifangni health zone, Plateau, counting the number of active malaria cases in health registers.Photo: Raphaël Gnonlonfoun, USAID Integrated Health Services Activity

When Benin recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 16, 2020, the country’s health authorities understandably pivoted to pandemic preparedness and response activities to protect people from the coronavirus.But the pandemic threatened progress in the fight against malaria. According to the 2018 Benin Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA 2018), the mosquito-borne illness remains the leading cause of mortality among children under five years and of morbidity among adults in Benin, accounting for more than 39 percent of adult medical consultations. Disruptions to primary healthcare and malaria prevention and treatment efforts could have deadly consequences.

A health worker showing the app used during the SMC in the village of Guéné. Photo credit Jocelyn Akakpo

While the rainy season brings welcome relief to farmers in northern Benin, the wet weather also brings an unwelcome guest: mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can spread malaria, a disease that threatens hundreds of thousands of children’s lives across the region.But malaria can be prevented with several interventions, including medications provided during seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC). When the summer rain arrives, health workers supported by USAID through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) treat children with four monthly rounds of SMC.

 {Photo credit: Vainqueur Degbeawo.}A container being unloaded in the department of Ouémé, Benin.Photo credit: Vainqueur Degbeawo.

In addition to knowledgeable staff, health centers need effective medical equipment to provide quality maternal and child healthcare. In Benin, equipment and supplies can vary from one hospital to another, resulting in preventable deaths of new mothers and their children. At Adjohoun Zone Hospital, Ouémé, a regional facility that serves more than 260,000 people, the lack of surgical equipment means that many pregnant mothers cannot access caesarean sections to avoid life-threatening birth complications.

No one wanted to miss this day.