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

  • Ridde V
  • Haddad S
  • Yacoubou M
 et al. 
  • 2

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

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.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attitude to Health
  • Benin
  • Community Health Services/economics/ organization
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Accessibility/economics
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Power (Psychology)
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Trust

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Authors

  • V Ridde

  • S Haddad

  • M Yacoubou

  • I Yacoubou

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free