Kassouala is a substantial village in Benin, located on the border with Nigeria. The local health centre is the only place in the wider area where the more than 25 000 inhabitants can get medical assistance.
Until recently, the centre was housed in an old, neglected and dilapidated building. The state of the facility and the medical equipment was so bad that it was no longer possible to receive patients in a safe and hygienic manner. However, closing the building was not an option. From Kassouala, it is more than one hour by car through the bush to get to Papané, where the nearest hospital is located. By motorcycle, the journey is much longer.
The lack of proper primary health care directly impacts mortality amongst young children, chronic malnutrition, absenteeism in the working population, and additional complications during serious illnesses. With a population of one fifth under five years of age, local well-equipped medical centres are genuinely indispensable.
In 2019, the Foundation and the Saint-Martin Hospital in Papané, with which it has worked for 40 years, planned to renovate and expand the health centre in Kassouala completely. The aim was for the inhabitants to rely on comprehensive and professional primary medical care in a well-equipped centre within a feasible distance. Not only consultations but also deliveries and minor operations could be performed there. However, to realise this plan, money was needed, a lot of money. Fortunately, the Province of West Flanders was willing to finance a significant part of the project. Without the support of the province, promised in June 2020, the project would never have been possible.
By March 2021, the dispensary, the waiting room, the accommodation for the resident nursing staff, a sanitary block, water supply and a water tank will be completed.
Today, the works on the maternity ward, the pharmacy room, a (small) laboratory and a solar panel installation to provide electricity for the medical appliances and the refrigeration room for the medicines are still ongoing. The goal is to have everything finished by March 2022.
Saint Martin’s Hospital will be responsible for the medical and administrative coordination of the centre. A team of at least two nurses will continuously staff the centre. At least once a month, and ideally eventually once a week, a team of doctors from the hospital will go to the centre to perform ultrasound scans and make more complex diagnoses. In consultation with the community health workers, the centre will also play an essential role in vaccinations.
We are still looking for additional funds to equip the medical centre:
Total budget: 22,000 euros
Still needed: 14,000 euros
Would you like to help? You can do so by contributing to the purchase of materials ?
Make a contribution to the account: BE14 7865 8929 4683 with the message: “Kassouala + your name.
Or use our online transfer form