Niger Health and Welfare

Niger Health and Welfare

Health care

Corona Covid 19

The lockdown has not passed the Niger without a trace; long-term economic damage will follow. In terms of health status, however, the incidence and death rate are low, but so are the test capacities.

Up to April 1, 2020, 74 positive patients were known, 5 of them died (personal information from the Ministry of Health “communique du 01/04/2020”)

The first Corona Virus Covid-19 case was confirmed on March 19, 2020. The situation in the north and south of the African continent and also in neighboring Burkina Faso is already looking different at this point in time.

The situation becomes precarious when sick people are not examined and / or treated, as the health system provides that people must first pay before medical steps are taken.

The WHO gives a good overview of the Nigerien health sector. The UNICEF website offers detailed information on the health situation of children. The Nigerian health plan PDRH (2011-2020) ‘Plan de Developpement des Ressources Humaines en Sante’ has set itself a variety of goals for improving the health sector, such as training, equipment, etc.

The population of Niger is threatened by a wide range of diseases such as: malaria, yellow fever, tuberculosis, meningitis, leprosy, typhoid, noma, brucellosis, hepatitis, schistosomiasis and HIV / AIDS. The three main causes of death (around 40% of deaths) are: flu / pneumonia, malaria, and diarrheal / cholera; but traffic accidents also belong in this category. The proportion of child mortality is 88 out of 1,000 live births.

According to philosophynearby, in Niger, one doctor is statistically responsible for 9,000 people; The WHO recommends a maximum of 600 patients per doctor. According to a WHO report, there are 42 hospitals, almost 600 health centers and a good 1,000 medical wards. There are hospitals in larger cities such as Niamey, Tahoua, Maradi and Zinder. They are usually state-run; well-trained Cuban doctors are helping with some. There are also private hospitals, medical stations or resident doctors with outpatient clinics – in some cases also under European management. In November 2017, 14 private health care institutions were closed by the Ministry of Health and others are subject to significant improvements.

The general health situation of mothers and children in Niger is poor. According to “Save the Children”, the situation of mothers in Niger is the worst in the world after Afghanistan, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau and Mali. This ranking includes factors such as health, education, nutrition and the economic situation. With an average of around 7 children per woman, the Niger population is growing explosively.

In Niger, health organizations are making every effort to include the sage-femme (knowing / wise women), who are consulted by women especially in connection with pregnancy and childbirth, in formal health care provision. According to the WHO, a “sage-femme” should be expected for every 5000 women – in Niger the distribution is much cheaper with 3700 women. Gynecological care from specialists is usually only available in the city. In addition, these are rarely women, which provokes religious conflict points with increasing Salafism. The topic of contraception could also be discussed with the women through these women – it is – mostly – still a taboo topic.

During the hot season (March to the beginning of the rainy season in July), violent, sometimes almost epidemic-like outbreaks of meningitis occur in Niger every year.

In a country with a drastic population increase and recurring droughts, the health of young children in particular is critical. Malnutrition, malnutrition and malnutrition are not uncommon. This continues into school age. School meals are offered in some schools, but as a rule only attention is paid to the calorie content and not to a “balanced” diet.

There is a health / health insurance company, but apart from a few employees in formal employment relationships and civil servants, few people are insured through it – “social insurance” is the family. When visiting a hospital, the majority of the population must first show the funds to finance the treatment. Medicines must also be bought yourself. In many cases, inpatient treatment requires relatives to provide the patient with food. Anyone who has good financial resources can of course also afford good medical care.

With the former special program of the president, which was financed by the formation of reserves, which became available after the debt relief, 1000 health centers and schools were built by 2010, but there is often a lack of (qualified) staff, equipment and medicines. This popular initiative has disappointed the population who had high hopes for the program.

HIV / AIDS

Niger is one of the low prevalence countries. This means that 0.87% of the population between 15 and 49 years of age is infected with the HIV virus. The statistics of HIV / AIDS infections, however, depend on the willingness of people to be tested, on the ability of the health system to have these tests carried out and evaluated by professional structures, and to offer infected people prospects. There are significant shortcomings in Niger at all of these levels. The number of reported AIDS cases can therefore not be seen as an indicator of the spread of the pandemic. Rather, experts who work in the country’s risk regions estimate the seroprevalence at 5 to 6%. Measures to improve the health situations are numerous in Niger. Awareness campaigns take place at various levels – intensively supported by development programs – e.g. through radio broadcasts or theater performances. Support for AIDS sufferers and the bereaved is not only available at the state level, but also at the private level.

Female genital mutilation

Female circumcision is still practiced in Niger, as in many countries in West Africa. Of traditional origin, this circumcision is not based on religious beliefs. Genital mutilation in Niger is fought primarily by the Nigerien ONG CONIPRAT (the Nigerien Committee against Traditional Practices). According to a survey, 5% (according to official figures) of young girls (mainly Songhai-Djerma, but also some Fulbe groups) are victims of circumcision. The awareness-raising measures of CONIPRAT aim to inform village chiefs and husbands about the dangerous consequences, but also circumcisers to create new sources of income. The law to abolish female circumcision is drastic and so are the sentences (between 6 months and 20 years in prison), so the number of genital mutilation in Niger has decreased significantly. Campaigns (inter) national organizations convince more and more women and men of the harmfulness of this tradition.

On July 11, 2003, the 53 member states of the African Union (AU) adopted a protocol at their 2nd summit meeting in Maputo, which is to apply primarily as a set of rules for the rights of women in Africa. The Maputo Protocol is designed to protect women from all forms of abuse. As an international treaty, the protocol represents an important frame of reference in development cooperation.

Niger Health and Welfare