Benin

Our mission at Zaffé is a health centre in a rural village, about three hours' drive north from Cotonou.

Zaffé is our 'Millennium Mission', founded in the year 2000 by our first all-African team of MMM Sisters. Zaffé is in the Diocese of Dassa-Zoumé in this small west African republic. The population is made up of four main ethno-linguistic groups: Fon, Yoruba, Voltaic, and Fulani.

The health services began when a group of volunteers was trained to work among their people in surrounding villages.

In the first year, 4,850 patients were seen at the new health centre, almost 60% of which were children. Respiratory infections, malaria, anaemia, and diarrhoeal diseases were the most common problems. Sexually transmitted diseases were believed to be increasing.

At the antenatal clinics,116 women registered. Topics such as hygiene, diet, and exercise were discussed and physical monitoring of the mothers-to-be was carried out.

The numbers attending the health centre and maternity unit have increased. At the request of the local people, the Sisters have extended the work to include a model farm and an ambitious programme to train young farmers to improve their income through better farm practices.   

From the beginning, the people embraced us warmly, working with us every step of the way to achieve a vibrant health centre and a growing outreach of services.

This mission is a model of close cooperation with the local farmers to improve nutrition in the villages.

 

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MMMs in the Republic of Benin are involved in:

  • Health education in the health centre, villages, churches, and schools
  • HIV activities
  • Work with physically challenged people
  • Family planning education
  • Home visits and pastoral activities

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