Universities and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Benin

Case Studies & Research
Association for the Development of Education in Africa, ADEA
24 p.

Between July and September 2000, the first study of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Universite Nationale du Benin (UNB) was conducted. In the course of the study, more than one hundred people were interviewed, including the Director of Higher Education and the Rector of the University. The study took place on the campuses at Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou and Porto-Novo, as well as in NGOs and public service departments that were not associated with the University or the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research (MENRS). Results show that HIV/AIDS has already taken hold at the University and is undermining its personnel, its key functions and the financial resources allotted to it. The study also revealed that up until now, the University of Benin has taken no account of HIV/AIDS in its management, its operations, its policies or strategic planning. Thus, all questions of direct concern to members of the university community have been left to individual responsibility, and not to the university administration. Examination of the various impacts of HIV/AIDS on UNB, and the current silence of university authorities about the AIDS epidemic, highlight those priority areas requiring action in order to reduce the spread of HIV. Two kinds of measures are therefore proposed. The first focus on UNB's ability to protect itself against HIV/AIDS, while the second suggests ways for the university to contribute to the national effort to contain the disease.

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