MSF in Niger - beyond malnutrition
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is involved in other activities in Niger besides malnutrition.
22 October 2008
Epidemic response It was during a measles vaccination campaign in 2001 that MSF decided to carry out evaluations and open up a project for the case management of malnutrition. Since then, MSF has collaborated with the national Ministry of Public Health every year in its response to epidemics. In 2008, a vaccination campaign against measles during an epidemic situation in the regions of Zinder and Maradi resulted in the immunisation of some 700,000 Nigerien children between six months and 15 years old. This emergency intervention lasted seven weeks and reached a vaccination coverage of 91 percent in the targeted areas. In parallel, the MSF teams supported Nigerien health facilities in their case management of children infected with the disease. In the districts of Birni N'Konni, Bouza and Madaoua (Tahoua region), 473,000 people were vaccinated against meningitis during a campaign led jointly by MSF and teams from the Ministry of Health. In Birni N'Konni, MSF provided support for the treatment of cholera cases in the district hospital since September. Materno-infantile health and paediatrics In Dakoro district, MSF supports the district hospital's paediatric and maternity wards and outpatient consultations for children under five in each integrated health centre offering a centre for intensive nutritional recuperation/education (an average of around 10,000 consultations a month). In the district hospital, 1,618 children were admitted into the paediatric ward in 2007, and 1,340 to date for 2008. There were 718 deliveries in the maternity ward in 2007 and 841 between January and September 2008. In the Maradi region, during the seasonal malaria peak of 2007, MSF opened a paediatric hospitalisation unit between July and October, and supported five health centres in their treatment of malaria-stricken children. A similar intervention was planned for 2008, but could not be carried through due to the suspension. Once the suspension has been lifted, MSF can examine with the local health authorities the support required for responding to this peak, which is particularly virulent this year. In Agadez, a team of some 15 persons - including a gynaecologist-obstetrician and a paediatrician - provide support to the maternity wards of two integrated health centres. Other activities MSF intervened following flooding in Zinder in July 2008. It provided material assistance (mosquito nets, mats, jerry cans, blankets, soap) and fortified flour (Unimix) to 500 homeless families taking refuge in the town's schools. In August, again following the floods, MSF carried out a distribution of essential non-food items for some 250 families in Tillabéri. In the Tahoua region, MSF has provided water and hygiene logistics support to several integrated health centres (rehabilitation of drinking water conveyance systems).