humedica hospital is a shining star of hope amidst threatening famine

by Simone Winneg,  2010/05/31

The non-governmental organisation Save the Children, in cooperation with which humedica had distributed shelter kits in Haiti, annually compiles a so-called Mothers Index. The results of this index provide information about which countries offer the best conditions for mothers and which countries offer rather moderate or bad conditions. This shows clearly what the situation is like for mothers and their children in Niger, with the country ranking on place 158 – the penultimate position on the list.

Please support our work in order to make the children laugh once more as brightly as in this photo. Photo: humedica/Simone Winneg

To make matters worse, the population is not only living under very poor conditions, but currently also facing a disastrous increase of the number extremely undernourished persons in the whole country. In her latest report humedica coordinator Simone Winneg reports about the depressing situation and the measures which are being launched in cooperation with other relief organisations.

“It is well-known that the food scarcity in Niger is a permanent and immense threat to the local population. And after four years of a relatively stable situation, this year the threat is more serious again – the situation is disastrous. According to the United Nations it will even become worse than in 2005, when a famine spread to a life-threatening extent in the entire country.

The catastrophe which is already clearly showing affects 58 % of the Nigerian population. During the last few months alone over 50,000 children below the age of five had to be taken in at special nutrition centres, in order to feed them up to a more or less normal body weight.

Also at the humedica hospital in Kollo we are confronted with the immense misery on a daily basis. The number of cases of undernutrition is soaring and during the last four weeks alone we had to take in more than 40 children which were moderately or severely undernourished.

Fortunately we will soon be able to take corresponding relief measures by means of the support of UNICEF and the Word Food Programme (WFP). In cooperation with UNICEF we will set up ten more beds in the newly constructed wing of the humedica hospital and hence take care of ten more children who need intensive care in order to recover. UNICEF will support this measure by means of special food and on a long term by means of targeted training measures for the local staff.

In this context, humedica will also work together with the WFP. In order to prevent an additional impairment of the women’s situation, the relief organisation provides us with daily food rations for mothers who have taken their severely undernourished children to our hospital.

However, we are not only concerned with those already suffering from extreme undernutrition, but above all also with those who have not yet reached this state. Unfortunately, a large number of people in Niger are constantly living on the edge of undernutrition and we need to prevent an impairment of their state by means of providing them with special food.

Together with UNICEF and the Word Food Programme we are planning to help 230,000 people in the health district of Kollo. Photo: humedica/Ilias Nazzal

Thanks to the support of the WFP we are furthermore able to distribute food in the entire district of Kollo which comprises a total of nine health stations. This enables us to take better care of the moderately undernourished children in the district. By means of this undernutrition programme, humedica will help a total of more than 230,000 people.

Besides the support by UNICEF and the WFP, we have already received generous donations by the German association ALPENSOLAR HUMAN e.V. in the framework of this programme and thanks to this support we can build a new storage room. Right now this is essential for adequate storage of the additional rations provided by the WFP and UNICEF, as well as of the drugs needed for the treatment of the hospital patients.

In order to realise these large-scale projects, however, we still urgently need further support: additional staff needs to be hired and the provision and organisation of the health stations as well as transport to the distribution points needs to be ensured for the next six months.

Please support our important work in Kollo and the surrounding area by means of a targeted donation!

Yours faithfully,
Simone Winneg"

Dear friends and sponsors, please hear this call and support us either by means of an online donation or a donation to the account below:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Hospital Niger
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Thank you very much!

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