Health in Benin
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In Benin, most serious epidemic diseases have been brought under control by mobile health units and other facilities. Yaws has been almost totally eradicated in the northern part of the country. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) has also been greatly reduced in the north and yellow fever has all but disappeared. Meningitis, once endemic in the north, now appears only sporadically and measures against tuberculosis have been intensified. In 2002, 203 new cases of cholera were reported. Malnutrition was prevalent in an estimated 25% of children under five years old. Access to safe water had improved to 63% by 2000 (between 1990 and 1995, only 20% had access to safe water), but only 23% of the population had adequate sanitation. Estimated average life expectancy in 2005 was 53 years.
Maternal and Child Healthcare
In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2011 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Benin is 410. This is compared with 468.9 in 2008 and 587.6 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 121 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 27. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Benin the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 4 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 43.
In 2004, total health care expenditure was estimated at 3.3% of GDP. About 16% of married women (age 15 to 49) used contraception in 2000. The total fertility rate was 6.4 per woman in 1999. Nearly half of the women in Benin undergo female genital mutilation.
The HIV/AIDS in Benin prevalence was 1.90 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 68,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 5,800 deaths from AIDS in 2003.
The government of Benin has set goals of expanding its health care system, upgrading the quality of first referral care, promoting private sector care, and improving public sector care.
- "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Accessed August 2011.