Benin is one of Africa’s poorest countries. A lack of emergency obstetrics care and a high fertility rate continue to fuel an urgent need for fistula treatment.

Why We Work in Benin

Benin is one of Africa’s most stable democracies, but economically, it is seriously underdeveloped and corruption runs rampant throughout. It remains one of Africa’s largest producers of cotton but ranks among the poorest countries.

Despite the relatively high percentage of births attended by a skilled health worker, maternal mortality has been slow to decrease. Each year 1,600 women in Benin die during childbirth,  and for every woman that dies, the World Health Organization estimates 20 more survive with significant injuries, such as obstetric fistula

Rural women bear the heaviest share of this suffering. High rates of fertility, teenage pregnancy and a lack of emergency obstetric care fuel particularly poor maternal health outcomes in the country’s remote areas. There is an urgent need to invest in fistula treatment to address the country’s many new cases of fistula each year, as well as the backlog of women awaiting care.

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build Benin‘s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA) to deliver fistula treatment to women in Benin. WAHA International provides free obstetric fistula care services in Cotonou, the country’s largest city, and in Tanguieta in Northern Benin.

What projects are we funding?

WAHA’s services cover the cost of surgery, transportation to and from its care facilities, and social reintegration support to help women return to their communities with confidence.

Working with the Foundation of the First Lady of Benin and other community organizations, WAHA also conducts outreach efforts to expand the public’s awareness of fistula and identify women in need of treatment. Ongoing surgeon training at Cotonou University Teaching Hospital also serves to build the country’s treatment capacity.

How much funding have we granted? 

National University Hospital

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $114,750 in FY2018
  • $136,700 in FY2017
  • $76,060 in FY2015


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