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.
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.
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.
National University Hospital
- Pending grant for FY2019
- $114,750 in FY2018
- $136,700 in FY2017
- $76,060 in FY2015