Benin: Our Impact

 {Graphic: African Strategies for Health}Officials from nine African countries convened in Ghana to find solutions to common challenges of attaining universal health coverage (UHC) with sustainability and improved quality of care.Graphic: African Strategies for Health

by African Strategies for Health The goals of universal health coverage (UHC) can only be delivered when access to health services and financial risk protection are equitably addressed.

 {Photo credit: Francis Aboagye-Nyame/MSH}SIAPS West Africa Regional Program launches, April 2014.Photo credit: Francis Aboagye-Nyame/MSH

Antiretroviral (ARV) medicines are a matter of life or death for people who are HIV-positive.  In West Africa, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) is working to make sure people have uninterrupted access to these life-saving medicines.

Stanislas Nebie. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Benin has historically had one of the highest death rates for children under the age of five, but the Bamako Initiative of 1987, in which African ministers vowed to increase the availability of healthcare services, ushered in an era of community-based health care reform that has shown considerable success. MSH’s Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS) project, funded by USAID, works with the government in Benin to implement a community-based, integrated management system for child illness.

More than 1,000 volunteer community health workers in northern Benin, trained to treat childhood illnesses by the USAID-funded, MSH-led BASICS Benin project, have done more than save lives. They have had a unifying effect in their communities, building trust and alliances among neighbors. In the rural village of Kaki-Koka, community health worker Celine Edjeou can treat the most dangerous threats to children—malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia—before they become life-threatening, saving the villagers long trips to a health center.

In many rural communities in Benin, children have not received adequate health care because health centers are too far away. Some women can’t go to the health centers because their husbands won’t accompany them. And many people who make it to the health center in an emergency cannot follow up with adequate treatment because resources are scarce in their communities. Since 2009, USAID-funded BASICS Benin, led by MSH, has been decreasing rates for fever, diarrhea, and other illness in these communities through local health workers who treat sick children at home.

Printer Friendly Version