CHILDREN TREATED FOR SEVERE MALNUTRITION
PATIENTS TREATED FOR MALARIA
MOTHERS TRAINED TO DETECT MALNUTRITION
MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE
deaths per 100,000 births
INFANT AND CHILD MORTALITY RATE
deaths per 1,000 children
A landlocked country in the middle of the Sahel, Niger is directly affected by the volatile security situations in neighboring states such as Mali, Libya, and Nigeria. In the first quarter of 2016, violence in the Lake Chad Basin displaced nearly 153,000 people internally and brought 68,000 returnees from Nigeria, as well as 98,000 Nigerian refugees.
Although child mortality has fallen by nearly 45% since 2009, Niger faces a chronic nutrition crisis. Nutritional surveys have found national prevalence rates of severe acute malnutrition well above emergency thresholds (set at 2% by the World Health Organization). There is also a risk of outbreaks of diseases such as measles, meningitis, cholera and malaria, all of which disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
ALIMA has been working with the Nigerien NGO BEFEN (Wellbeing of Women and Children in Niger), a key national player in maternal and child health, since 2009.
ALIMA and BEFEN are collaborating with health authorities in Mirriah (Zinder region) and Dakaro (Maradi region) to reduce mortality in children under the age of five. Medical teams provide free care to children suffering acute malnutrition. They also make sure that all children who are referred to the two local hospitals get free treatment for conditions such as malaria, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infections (ARIs).
Malaria is the main cause of mortality in children below the age of five, with cases spiking between July and December. To prevent this, 17,213 children under five were given seasonal chemoprevention, cutting the number of malaria cases and related complications in half.
In 2015 in Mirriah and Dakoro, ALIMA treated 40,035 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and 64,720 patients suffering from malaria.
The first 1,000 days are decisive for children’s life-long health
In April 2014 ALIMA and BEFEN began supporting a group of 1,500 mothers and their children in Mirriah, offering them a series of preventive and curative treatments over the first 1,000 days of their child’s life. Children under the age of two are particularly vulnerable to conditions such as malaria, diarrhea, ARIs, and malnutrition, any of which can have devastating effects on their development.
Malnutrition screening by mothers
Mothers are trained to use a small tape measure (called a MUAC) to assess their child’s nutritional condition. Involving mothers in malnutrition screening leads to earlier identification and a significant reduction in the number of children requiring hospitalization. Last year 41,200 mothers received MUAC training.