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Official launch of the RTHHC Assessment in Benin

Date: 
2 Mar 2008

As part of the ongoing Global Right to Health and Health Care Campaign, the campaign was launched in Benin on 1st March 2008 in Abomey Calavi.

Picture of the launch of the RTHHC campaign in Benin
The Benin Republic is a secular country located in West Africa between Nigeria and Togo. It stands on 114,600 km square and counts 59 inhabitants per square kilometer. More than 65% of people are young and the life expectancy is 59.2 years. In Benin the infant mortality rate is 90/1000 live births and the maternal mortality rate is 474 per 100,000 births. This is due to the lack of information on reproductive health and to the high cost of health care services. Government policies are also responsible because they don't take into account the most marginalized groups’ situation. (RGPH 3, INSAE 2002)

 

The "Document de Stratégies de Croissance et de Réduction de la Pauvreté" (the Benin version of PRSP) should particularly take into account poor people precisely by providing free health care services for women, street children, people with disabilities, etc. Health and social services in Africa deserve as much attention as football.

In Benin, the lack of resources, the savage destruction of environment, poverty, trafficking of children and child labor, the absence of health education for youth and adolescents in rural areas, and high cost of health care and drugs lead to early and unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, fistula, female genital mutilations, HIV/AIDS, the boom of unscientific and ineffective medicine, and high rates of malaria and tuberculosis.

As part of the ongoing Global RTHHC Campaign in Benin we launched the Right to Health Assessment on 1st March 2008 in Abomey Calavi. PHM RTHHC Campaigners are struggling for:

  • health access for all, including low cost drugs against tuberculosis and malaria
  • poverty reduction
  • women’s rights including health and education rights
  • advice services for youth in reproductive health including AIDS in rural areas,
  • food security for people living on islands and on water
  • climate change and sustainable development

The organizations and individuals who participated in the official launch of the Assessment of the Right to Health are Groupement des Femmes de Ahossou Gbeta, OAJA, Parlement des Jeunes du Benin, Femmes et SR, WYMD, Mouvements des Etudiantes, ReJPoD, jurists ,students, journalists, health workers, women, young people, and children.

Here are some summaries of the many testimonies heard during the launch:

Eric Djogbédé Omarion, 23 years old, Student.

In June 2007, my mother had bad kidneys. She paid 2000FCFA (4 USD) per day for three months! It was only after three months that the doctor begin to administer care! Beside the bed of my mother, there was a deaf-mute who has been returned because it did not have the money to care for his hernia!

Eugénie Houessou - Guidado, 39 years old, seller.

My child died at 2 days old because a pediatrician prescribed an adult antibiotic that nurses injected into him. This happened at Mènotin, a district of Cotonou, the largest city in Benin! I had nine months of pregnancy and my child was killed two days after he was born. Today, I am ready to struggle for quality training for health workers .

Madame Oladélé, 37 years old, health worker.

One day a lady who wanted to give birth did not have the money to pay the costs of childbirth. I had to pay for the fees and the medicine! Until now, it has not yet been repaid.

Author/Source: 
Pacôme Tomètissi
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