To improve healthcare for displaced people, host communities and the population at large ─ in particular children ─ we work with the Ministry of Health and community health workers to deliver integrated health programmes throughout the country.
MSF teams are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Niger.
Niger has made remarkable progress in reducing under-five mortality over the past decade, but malnutrition and malaria – the main causes of childhood death – remain rife. We run targeted paediatric programmes, support community health workers and boost the capacity of public facilities, particularly during the 'hunger gap' between harvests, which coincides with the rainy season and malaria peak.
MSF supports community health workers in more than 40 villages in the Maradi region. The community health workers are especially active during the peak malaria season and ensure early detection and treatment of simple malaria and screening for malnutrition. The recent scale-up of health promotion and community-based activities in the region resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in admissions for severe complicated malaria in the health facilities we support.
Since 2015, people living in Diffa region, in the Lake Chad Basin, suffer the consequences of the violent clashes between armed opposition groups in neighbouring Nigeria and the military forces in the region. We provide medical and mental care for displaced people and host communities at numerous health facilities in the region and run mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas. In Agadez, in the north of Niger, we support local communities and migrants along the main migratory routes.
The spread of hepatitis E in Diffa region has slowed down since MSF began detecting and treating cases in early 2017, and the Ministry of Health subsequently declared an outbreak in mid-April of the same year. The number of fatalities dropped, thanks to active case-finding, quicker diagnosis, water chlorination and awareness-raising activities. Our teams helped to treat patients and set up an intensive care unit for pregnant women, as the risks are most severe for them and their unborn babies.
Niger, which is part of the ‘meningitis belt’ that stretches across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia, is regularly affected by meningitis outbreaks. We monitor at-risk areas, help the Ministry of Health to run vaccination campaigns and help treat those affected by the disease.
Our COVID-19 activities in Niger
Niamey, the capital of Niger, is the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health’s response to the new coronavirus. Audace Ntezukobagira, our emergency coordinator in the Sahel, explains how.