With a total population of about 13 million and 70 percent of them living on less than US$ 1 per day, Niger ranks at the bottom of UNDP's Human Development Index list. Approximately 77 percent of the population live in rural areas. The life expectancy at birth is 49.2 years on average.
In 2010, in Niger one out of 23 women will die in childbirth. Huge disparities in accessing health care exist between the rural and urban areas. In the capital Niamey up to 74% of all women have the help of a skilled birth attendant when they deliver their babies. However, in rural areas, where most of the population resides, only 8% of women deliver with the help of a skilled birth attendant.
WAHA INTERNATIONAL IN NIGER
Our Medical Coordinator, Dr Fatouma Mabeye, has been in Niger to develop WAHA International’s maternal health program activities and to develop partnerships with local institutions such as the Central Maternity of Zinder, which is an important fistula treatment centre and a referral maternity clinic for the region. In the last ten years more than 1,000 women with obstetric fistula have been operated of which more than 99 percent came from rural areas. Since the beginning of the partnership with the Central Maternity of Zinder, between 6 to 8 women with obstetric fistula have been operated every week. In addition to Dr Lucien two other surgeons are on the ground to perform fistula surgery since the beginning of the partnership.
In addition, WAHA International is developing a pilot project with the national breast cancer program in Niger. The project will include the implementation of a referral system so that any woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer will be able to access treatment in Niamey, including surgery where necessary.
To learn more about the pilot screening of breast cancer in Niger