Our Foundation’s local team is expanding: Rahmat Sokouinto, a dietician and nutritionist, is joining the team. She will specifically lead the project against non-communicable diseases (NCD). And as usual, we introduce you to our new employee through a short interview.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I am Sokouinto Tchoukouna Rahmat, a young woman passionate about nutrition. A passion I developed while studying Nutrition and Dietetics at the Faculty of Health Sciences in Cotonou.
Why did you apply to the Foundation? What in particular appealed to you?
Most nutrition projects in Benin focus on childhood malnutrition, which is a good thing. However, we often forget other nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Those diseases are significant causes of death worldwide and especially in developing countries like Benin. With the Foundation’s project, I have the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of people’s diets and lifestyles. And that by setting up preventive and health-promoting activities related to NCDs. Hence my interest in applying to the Foundation.
How did the NCD project kick-off meeting go?
The kick-off meeting of the NCD project took place on June 16, 2022, at the office of our Foundation. The representatives of the municipalities of Parakou and Tchaourou were present. After a welcoming speech by Marcienne Houenou, our director, the representative of the Departmental Director of Health of the Borgou region, opened the meeting. First, my fellow Foundation nutritionist gave a general overview of the NCD project. Then we all discussed how we would define the target groups and refer the sick individuals to the health center to start treatment.
We also talked about the organization of physical education workshops. We also discussed the problem of establishing vegetable gardens in highly urbanized areas such as Agba-Agba, a district of Parakou, where there is insufficient space. A possible alternative is to create more extensive community vegetable gardens and promote soilless crops such as substrate cultivation or hydroponics.
After the break, we reviewed the selection criteria for the project and had the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions. Finally, we selected six villages where we will roll out the NCD project: Wanssirou, Baka, and Agba-Agba in Parakou and the villages of Kaki-Koka, Koubou, and Tépkarou in the municipality of Tchaourou.
How will you approach your work?
This project is quite a challenge for me. Therefore, I will approach it with many “sérieux” and motivation.
What priorities have you set for yourself?
I have set myself goals on two levels. First, I want to achieve the purposes of the project by setting up actions and being innovative. Second, I want to be a role model for healthy eating patterns. I am pleased to work for the Foundation, and I will be fully committed.