Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health

Borgou Child Survival Project

Location: Benin

Donor: USAID

Duration: 2003 - 2007

In 2003, MCDI received funding from USAID to implement a four-year Child Survival project in the Tchaourou and N’Dali health zones of the Department of Borgou; a focus region of USAID/Benin for piloting both facility-based and household/community Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) activities.

The overall goal of the project was to improve the health of children under five and women of reproductive age in the area. Key project objectives were to:

  1. Improve the quality of care delivered by health-service providers,
  2. Increase access to health services by expanding the role of community-based structures,
  3. Build capacity among post-natal caregivers to increase child survival rates and
  4. Strengthen the structures of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its partners to effectively implement household and community management of childhood illness activities.

Primary intervention areas included malaria, pneumonia, control of diarrheal diseases, immunization, breastfeeding and nutrition, and HIV/AIDS. MCDI’s strategy reinforced existing local structures, particularly the ability of the MoH to provide quality child-survival and maternal-health interventions in the targeted areas.

Through a network of community-based distributors, the project ensured that rural areas had access to bed nets, contraceptives, re-impregnation kits, fever medication (aspirin, cholorquine, and paracetamol), oral rehydration salts, and water purification equipment. MCDI also collaborated with local businesses including a mobile telephone company and a water bottling company to organize two concerts that attracted a crowd of 8,000 people.

During the event, essential health messages were disseminated and contraceptives and insecticide-treaded bed nets were distributed. The project’s greatest success, however, was the production and sale of an estimated 1.2 million bottles of mineral water, whose labels were printed with key messages on HIV/AIDS and malaria. This effort facilitated the transmission of key messages well beyond the targeted areas.

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