Health in Benin

Benin faces a number of population health challenges. Apart from modern medicine, traditional medicine plays a big role too.[1]

Health infrastructureEdit

In 2004, total health care expenditure was estimated at 3.3% of GDP. In Benin, most serious epidemic diseases have been brought under control by mobile health units and other facilities. The government of Benin has set goals of expanding its health care system, upgrading the quality of first referral care, promoting private sector care, and improving public sector care.

Water supply and sanitationEdit

According to the Joint Monitoring Program of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, three quarters of the Beninese population had access to an improved water source in 2008, whereas 12% had access to improved sanitation. The share rose from 63% concerning water and from 5% concerning sanitation in 1990. Coverage in urban areas is considerably higher than in rural areas.[2]

Access to Water and Sanitation in Benin (2008)[2]
(41% of the population)
(59% of the population)
Water Improved water source 84% 69% 75%
Piped on premises 26% 2% 12%
Sanitation Improved sanitation 24% 4% 12%

Wastewater treatment is extremely rare in Benin. In most cases, wastewater is not disposed appropriately. According to a 2001 national health survey, in the cities of Cotonou, Parakou and Porto-Novo, two out of 1,000 households dispose their wastewater in a correct way, while most of them discharge it directly into the nature or drains. This leads to pollution and can cause water-borne diseases like malaria and typhoid fever.[3]

Health statusEdit

Life expectancyEdit

The 2014 CIA estimated average life expectancy in Benin was 61.07 years.[4]

Fertility rateEdit

About 16% of married women (age 15 to 49) used contraception in 2000. The total fertility rate was 6.4 per woman in 1999.

Endemic diseasesEdit

Yellow fever has all but disappeared.[citation needed] Meningitis, once endemic in the north, now appears only sporadically.[citation needed]

Infectious diseasesEdit

Yaws has been almost totally eradicated in the northern part of the country. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) has also been greatly reduced in the north. In 2002, 203 new cases of cholera were reported.

On 16 March 2020, the first COVID-19 case in the country was confirmed in Porto-Novo.[5]


The HIV/AIDS in Benin prevalence was 1.90 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 68,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 5,800 deaths from AIDS in 2003.


In 2002, malnutrition was prevalent in an estimated 25% of children under five years old.

Maternal and child healthcareEdit

The 2011 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Benin is 410. This is compared with 468.9 in 2008 and 587.6 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 121 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 27. In Benin the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 4 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 43.[6]

According to a 2013 UNICEF report, 13% of women had undergone female genital mutilation.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Karim Okanla. "Science-based clinic or witch doctor?". D+C,development and cooperation. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b World Health Organization; UNICEF. "Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water. 2010 Update" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
    Based on:
    • Enquête démographique et de santé. 2003.
    • Enquête socio-anthropologique sur la fécondité et la mortalité infantile et maternelle. 2003.
    • Questionnaire des indicateurs de base du bien-être. 2003.
    • Recencement général de la population et des habitations. 2002.
    • Bénin (2001). Enquête Démographique et de Santé.
    • Bénin. Ministère du plan, de la restructuration economique et de la promotion de l'emploi. (1996). Demographic and Health Survey., p. 18
    • 1992 Census as recorded in Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000. Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Questionnaire. 1999.
  3. ^ Bénin (2001). Enquête Démographique et de Santé (in French)., cited in: "0,1% des ménages béninois accèdent aux équipements d'assainissement". Panapress. 2004-11-22. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  4. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook Life Expectancy". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  5. ^ "More African countries confirm first coronavirus cases as Jack Ma pledges aid". Reuters. 2020-03-22. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  6. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  7. ^ UNICEF 2013, p. 27.

External linksEdit