Health & Nutrition in Benin
Health Committees, which are made up of epicenter partners, operate medical programs that provide maternal care, disease-prevention, and HIV/AIDS services.
The Health Committee assists in operating the health clinic (including a delivery room, consultation rooms, pharmacy and toilets). The clinic typically tracks child and maternal health, provides malaria and tuberculosis prevention and treatment, offers nutrition education, administers medications and supplies and coordinates with government and local agencies to host medical staff.
Eight of the 18 epicenters in Benin offer family planning services and all of the clinics have pre- and postnatal care systems in place. Additionally, health clinics offer malaria screening and treatment and most epicenters sell and/or distribute bednets. All but one of the epicenters offer vaccinations, including ones for tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, meningitis, yellow fever, scarlet fever and typhoid fever.
The Hunger Project also trains specialized volunteer “HIV animators” in each epicenter who conduct workshops that engage both women and men in learning the facts of HIV/AIDS and the role of gender inequality in fueling the pandemic. The HIV animators work with the epicenter Health Committee in mobilizing the entire population to halt the spread of HIV. At the moment, four epicenters offer HIV/AIDS testing but well over half of all the clinics distribute condoms and provide counseling for victims of HIV/AIDS.
Nine of Benin’s epicenters have Hunger Project-constructed health centers. Among them there are 10 nurses working and an average of eight community health volunteers at each clinic.
Despite some lacking an actual health clinic, most of the epicenters provide malnutrition counseling and treatment, diarrhea and dehydration treatment and height and weight tracking for children.