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Improving health care in the most underserved districts of Niger

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© UNICEF/Niger/Islamane

With the support of the Government of the People's Republic of China, a series of health interventions are being implemented in seven districts of the Tahoua region to accelerate efforts to reduce maternal, infant and newborn mortality.

NIAMEY, November 17, 2020 - With the support of the Government of the People's Republic of China, UNICEF today handed over 50 motorcycles to the Ministry of Public Health, intended for 50 integrated health centers of seven (7) districts of the Tahoua region. These motorcycles will facilitate the supervision of interventions carried out at community level, will improve the quality of care and thus contribute to the reduction of maternal, infant and neonatal mortality.

"The maternal and child health indicators in the region of Tahoua are below the national average. These seven districts - which cover 65% of the region's population – continue to face multiple health challenges, especially among the most vulnerable children and mothers," said Ilaria Carnevali, UNICEF Representative a.i. in Niger.

According to the latest surveys (ENISED 2015), infant and child mortality rate in Tahoua (140 ‰) is higher than the national average (estimated at 126 ‰) and health coverage is among the lowest (46.80%), with a discontinuity of maternal health services and a serious lack of qualified health personnel.

The US$ one (1) million funding support from the People's Republic of China helped UNICEF to carry out the following interventions:

Provision of a source of electricity to improve the continuity of maternal health services, knowing that out of a total of 136 integrated health centers in the seven (7) targeted health districts, 51 are without electricity.

  • Capacity building for health and community workers in villages located more than 5 km from a health center.
  • Provision of drugs to treat the children’s main killer diseases (namely malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia) at community level
  • Strengthening community engagement through advocacy with community leaders and community awareness
  • And, strengthening coordination between the region, the districts and integrated health centers.
  • Niger is among the eight African countries benefiting from this funding support, which is part of the China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF).

“We are supporting Niger's efforts to promote the health of women and children. We hope that this project will improve maternal and child health services and reduce infant and child mortality in Niger,” says H.E.M Zhang Lijun, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Niger.

"This support helped us extend our work with community health workers to provide children with quality care services against life-threatening diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea," Ilaria Carnevali concluded.