The West African country of Benin is located in Sub-Saharan Africa. The current population of the country is about 10,583,034 people; Per capita income is $1,850 USD; Life expectancy for women/men-61/58 yrs old; Infant mortality rates: 67/1000 live births.
Health Killers in Benin
Communicable and non-communicable diseases have been a scourge in Benin for a long time now. Respiratory infections, malaria, and stroke are the leading causes of death in the country. Many of these diseases have their origins from infections or causes attributable to water supply and sanitation. Water treatment is rare and an exception, done only in hotels and hospitals. The healthcare challenges that Benin face is towards improved access to doctors and facilities including medicines and services. Slow implementation of government policies and strategies toward better healthcare also present a hindrance.
Top 3 Leading Killers In Benin
Lower respiratory infections (meningococcal meningitis) ranks highest as the leading cause of death in Benin at 12.8% of its population. These infections are caused by kitchen air pollution and poor nutrition.
Malaria also counts as a high cause of death in Benin at 8.9% caused by Anopheles mosquito bite correlated with poor water sanitation.
Stroke is another high cause of death at 6.6% with causes such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and air pollution from solid fuels in kitchens to blame.
Other Leading Causes Of Death In The Country
Diarrheal Diseases is another high-risk condition at 5.4% caused by poor water conditions and sanitation. Ischemic Heart Disease is associated with stroke that kills about 5.2% of Benin’s population. Preterm Birth Complications at 4.2% kills babies caused by complications after premature birth. Meningitis also kills about 3.5% of Benin’s population caused by improper living conditions where bacterial respiratory droplets are easily transmitted from one family member to another. Birth asphyxia and birth trauma are also a high cause of neonatal death in Benin at 3.5% caused by pregnancy-induced hypertension and birth asphyxia.
HIV/AIDS a modern killer, is another leading cause of mortality in Benin with about 3.4% of its population infected caused by unsafe sexual contacts and illiteracy. Protein-Energy Malnutrition also is another nutrition deficiency disease that kills 3% of Benin’s population caused by lack of protein or calorie intake due to poverty
Healthcare And Services In Benin
The World Health Organization and UNICEF published its findings from their Joint Monitoring Program about access to water and sanitation in the country. A limited assessment of drinking water quality has been done and proved to be of good quality. However, wastewater and sanitation were questionable with most wastewater directly disposed off in drains and the ground. The country’s total health expenditure as of 2004 was estimated to be 3.3% of its GDP. Together with the Health System Performance Project, the government has made efforts to make access to malaria care easier for mothers and children. Mobile health units have been instrumental in controlling most outbreaks of epidemics with other facilities assisting.