Health Center Pharmacy and Gazebo

  • Community Growth
  • Education
  • Benin
This project is led by Courtney, A., a Volunteer from Maine

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This project is to build a pharmacy and joint gazebo at the community medical center. Currently, all routine health care activities take place outside where there is no available seating or shelter. Visiting patients awaiting care or prescriptions have limited space within the main waiting area, causing overcrowding in the health center work space. Finally, although the health center carries some pharmaceuticals, their stock and supply room is limited, and patients often have to travel to the nearest city for medication, thereby increasing the cost of care from travel expenses and putting patients in danger of highway accidents. Therefore, the goal of this project is to create a space where routine activities, such as vaccinations, baby weigh ins, and maternal health education can take place in a sheltered and comfortable setting. The new structure will open up space in the main office for patients to wait and receive care. With this addition, the health center can increase their pharmaceutical stocks, better servicing the 15 communities that use the health center. The realization of a new pharmacy and joint gazebo will allow the health center to increase the quality and diversity of care they provide, increase their revenue, and provide space for ongoing health education and programming at the center. The community contribution will come in the form of cash donations, building materials, land, and labor.

The planning for this construction project began with the village's last volunteer, along with her supervisor and community's visiting doctor. The board of community health workers for Borgou expressed a desire and commitment to realizing the construction of the pharmacy during a PACA health resources and needs assessment meeting in April 2018. From that point, meetings with the greater community resulted in full commitment to the project. Local actors identified their contribution as building materials, labor, land, and cash donations. Subcommittees have been assembled for building and programming health education. The building subcommittee will organize a construction team and purchase and collect building materials. The education programming subcommittee will organize a series of health talks for pregnant and new mothers on the topic of nutrition, which will take place in the gazebo space as soon as construction is completed.

The structure of the pharmacy itself will contribute to the project's sustainability in that it will be continually used for as long as the health center is in business. It will continue to generate income for the health center, supply medicine for the surrounding communities, and provide health education to its visitors. All maintenance for this structure will be taken on by the community itself so that the integrity of the building is maintained over time. Overall, the pharmacy and gazebo construction will contribute greatly to the overall infrastructure and development of the community and overtime will continue to benefit the people who live in Borgou and the surrounding villages who use the health center as their primary means of healthcare.

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