**In support of the Government, UNICEF is on all fronts to stem the transmission of the virus and protect children and their families.
**NIAMEY (Niger), April 16, 2020 **- As the current coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) continues to spread, UNICEF is working with the Government of Niger and its partners to respond to this health emergency and stem the spread of the virus. As of April 16, 2020, the country has 584 confirmed positive cases - including 14 deaths.
UNICEF supports the Government in care and surveillance, by facilitating alert mechanisms for people who present alarming symptoms, supporting the preparation of the community for the investigation of cases, monitoring the contact of people, supporting the isolation process, and managing and treating cases - including those who do not require hospital care.
Alongside the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF co-directs risk communication and community engagement actions in order to raise awareness and encourage the population to adopt barrier gestures that help contain the spread of the virus.
In addition to the national campaign waged through traditional and new media - including community media, UNICEF is carrying out a series of actions at the community level by mobilizing town criers and social mobilizers, traditional and religious leaders, and youth.
"The community is at the heart of this fight. The virus does not circulate on its own, it is the human, the carrier of the virus, who makes it circulate. To stem the transmission of this virus, it is therefore crucial to enforce barrier gestures and instructions for confinement and social distancing. If they are not respected, it will be difficult for us to stop the spread of the virus. It is for this reason that a large part of our actions is directed towards communities" explained Dr. Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
In the area of infection prevention and control, support is focused on setting up handwashing facilities and the necessary supplies in health centers and other at-risk areas - both in Niamey and in the interior of the country.
UNICEF supports the regular disinfection of health centers, isolation and treatment centers, public infrastructures at risk of infection, and supports compliance with the measures for the safe and dignified burial of patients who have died from COVID-19.Water, hygiene and sanitation facilities have been set up in temporary structures, specially fitted out by UNICEF, to widen the sorting and isolation amenities and consequently reinforce the capacities of health structures in Niger.*
UNICEF also provides technical support in the development of standard operating procedures adapted to the country for detecting cases, caring for the sick, following up on contacts, setting up alert systems, the development of a supply plan (including drugs, consumables and equipment), protective materials for front-line workers, and materials for prevention and control. "Children are at risk of being the hidden victims of this pandemic. We fear its short- and long-term effects on their health, well-being, development and prospects. It is for this reason that we continue to monitor the impact of the epidemic to support continuity of care, education and social services. We are also working to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the protection of children and women," concluded Dr. Tchibindat.
See our latest situation report:
More information on the evolution of the situation in Niger:
Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro
Tel: +227 80 06 60 18
Binta Saley Souley
Tel: +227 9039 1928