APC Benin provides capacity building and technical assistance to a group of local NGOs collectively referred to as PIHI (paquet d’interventions à haut impact), which implement high impact health interventions in maternal and child health, family planning, and other areas. The NGO SIAN'SON, based in Djougou Copargo Ouake and Tchaourou health zones, submitted these stories to APC.
A COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER’S CHANGE OF HEART
Dangou Inoussa, a community health worker in Minanga. SIAN'SON, Djougoug Copargo Ouake
My name is Dangou lnoussa, and I am a community health worker in the village of Minanga, in the health zone of Alfa Kpara, Djougou town. I’m 50 years old, married to four wives, and have 22 children. My fourth wife is pregnant with my 23rd child. At this rate, I could end up with 50 children!
I have a hard time because of this large family. Providing food, school fees, and caring for everyone is a permanent worry for me. I don’t know which saint to pray to.
At one point, it got so bad that I started to look for a way out of the situation. I even considered suicide.
Hope came in 2015 at a training on family planning and water, sanitation and hygiene organized by APC. At the training, I learned that there are many ways to limit and plan for birth, depending on a couple’s choice.
Afterward, each of my wives and I decided to adopt a family planning method. I went with two of them to the maternity clinic to choose a method, and I’ll do the same with the other two. If this training had come sooner, I wouldn’t have so many children to care for.
The story that I just told makes me proud of my role as a community health worker. Since the training, I’ve been able to convince other men in my village of the benefits of family planning. That’s why I would like to thank PIHI and USAID, for helping me solve my problems and restoring my will to live.
TRUSTING HEALTH WORKERS, SAVING A CHILD IN BENIN
Moufidath and her mother after treatment. SIAN'SON, Djougoug Copargo Ouake, Tchaourou
My daughter Moufidath would not be alive if the PIHI staff hadn’t come knocking at my door. When my daughter’s belly and face began to swell, everyone in my family thought it was witchcraft.
Despite much hesitation on our part, the health workers visiting our home convinced us to bring her to the health center. There, they explained that she was sick due to poor diet and lack of protein.
Now I understand the reason that Moufidath was sick. I have explained this to other women in our village so that this never happens to their children. We realize that we already have what we need to fight this type of illness!
I’m proud that I followed the advice of PIHI staff. They saved my daughter, and I am so grateful.