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Exploratory study of the impacts of Mutual Health Organizations on social dynamics in Benin

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  • Ridde, Valery
  • Haddad, Slim
  • Yacoubou, Moussa
  • Yacoubou, Ismaelou

Abstract

The primary aim of Mutual Health Organizations (MHOs) is the financial protection of their members. However, given their community-based, participative and voluntary nature, it is conceivable that MHOs, as social organizations, would affect social dynamics. In an exploratory study in Benin, we studied social dynamics related to mutual aid, relationships of trust, and empowerment. Four MHOs, as contrasted cases, were selected from among the 11 in the region. Focus groups (n = 20) and individual interviews (n = 29) were conducted with members, non-members, and elected leaders of the four MHOs, and with professionals from the health facilities concerned. We carried out a qualitative thematic analysis of the content. Mutual aid practices, which pre-date MHOs, can be mobilized to promote MHO membership. Mutual aid practices are based on relationships of trust. The primary reason for joining an MHO is to improve financial accessibility to health services. Non-members see that members have a strong sense of empowerment in this regard, based on a high level of trust in MHOs and their elected leaders, even if their trust in health professionals is not as strong. Non-members share these feelings of confidence in MHOs and their leadership, although they trust health professionals somewhat less than do the members. The MHOs' low penetration rate therefore cannot be explained by lack of trust, as this study shows that, even with some distrust of the professionals, the overall level of trust in MHOs is high and MHOs and their leaders function as intermediaries with health professionals. Other explanatory factors are the lack of information available to villagers and, most especially, the problems they face in being able to pay the MHO premiums.

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  • Ridde, Valery & Haddad, Slim & Yacoubou, Moussa & Yacoubou, Ismaelou, 2010. "Exploratory study of the impacts of Mutual Health Organizations on social dynamics in Benin," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 467-474, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:3:p:467-474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mladovsky, Philipa & Soors, Werner & Ndiaye, Pascal & Ndiaye, Alfred & Criel, Bart, 2014. "Can social capital help explain enrolment (or lack thereof) in community-based health insurance? Results of an exploratory mixed methods study from Senegal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 18-27.
    2. Mladovsky, Philipa, 2014. "Why do people drop out of community-based health insurance? Findings from an exploratory household survey in Senegal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 78-88.
    3. Slim Haddad & Valery Ridde & Ismaelou Yacoubou & Geneviève Mák & Michel Gbetié, 2012. "An Evaluation of the Outcomes of Mutual Health Organizations in Benin," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 7(10), pages 1-8, October.
    4. Agier, Isabelle & Ly, Antarou & Kadio, Kadidiatou & Kouanda, Seni & Ridde, Valéry, 2016. "Endorsement of universal health coverage financial principles in Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 157-166.
    5. Hampshire, Kate R. & Porter, Gina & Owusu, Samuel Asiedu & Tanle, Augustine & Abane, Albert, 2011. "Out of the reach of children? Young people's health-seeking practices and agency in Africa's newly-emerging therapeutic landscapes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(5), pages 702-710, September.
    6. Mladovsky, Philipa, 2014. "Why do people drop out of community-based health insurance?: findings from an exploratory household survey in Senegal," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55820, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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