The struggle against malnutrition

by Jasmin Eigemann,  2014/07/28

Something is moving, around the hospital “Complexe de Santé Hosanna” in Kollo: This clinic, built by humedica, is completely devoted to the struggle against malnutrition and a high infant death rate. With increasing success.

The Republic of Niger belongs to the poorest countries in the world and ranks last in the Human Development Index, which illustrates the development of all states.

Besides the repeated hunger crises and the related malnutrition, the high infant and maternal mortality rates are an enormous problem. Other dangers, like sexually transmissible diseases, HIV /Aids and other infections represent a high health risk for the Nigerien population, especially for women and children.

Filled with the deep desire to improve the situation of the population, humedica has decided, after an emergency relief mission in 2005, to build a hospital, the “Complexe de Santé Hosanna”.

The clinic cares for the basic medical care of the population in this undersupplied region around the town Kollo, about 35 kilometers from the capital Niamey. A special focus lays on obstetrics and the care for mother and child.

Its high standard of medical performance and equipment has made the “Complexe de Santé Hosanna” a reference hospital. Especially the rare ultrasonic devices, as well as the only laboratory in the region are of great help in the care of pregnant women.

Trainings and courses about health education for the local population complete the supply. There, mothers learn how to nourish their children in a balanced way and thus prevent diseases.

humedica regularly sends field personnel or they can increase the equipment of the hospital, thanks to the support by directed donations.

In 2010, for example, a new hospital wing with beds could be installed and, thus, the hospital treatment of seriously ill patients be made possible. Moreover, not long ago, humedica has provided an urgently needed off-road ambulance, which has been welcomed with much joy and thankfulness.

The hospital improves the lives of many patients, especially of mothers and children, who like to come there regularly. Here, we want to tell you three stories:

Omar is seven years old and underfed. When he arrived at the hospital, together with his grandmother, he only weighed twelve kilos. In addition to that, he also suffered from malaria and typhus.

In his village, which is situated about 100 kilometers away from the clinic, there wasn’t enough food any more. For weeks, he had only eaten the dry bark of trees.

In the “Complexe de Santé Hosanna”, he is not only treated for free, but he and his grandmother also get a meal three times a day, in order to gain weight. A real blessing for him, who only knew about one meal a day.

His doctors guess that he will be healthy and strong again in two weeks, so that he can go back to his village.

Undernourishment is also an important topic for mothers of little children and babies. In order to contain this wide-spread problem, the “Complexe de Santé Hosanna” offers a special service for mothers every Tuesday:

Staff is being made available, in order to weigh and measure children and, if necessary, also to vaccinate them. At the same time, the mothers are being asked about their behavior concerning health and hygiene and are given advice. Here, the healthy child’s development is in the focus.

Since this service had been offered for the first time one year ago, the number of the weekly visitors has increased considerably. Whereas, in 2013, there were fifteen children, today they are 80 to 100.

When asking the mothers, they explain that the visit has positive effects for their children. The hospital enjoys a good reputation.

But little Zainabou has been hit by another catastrophe. The baby has lost her mother not long ago and depends now on her grandmother’s care. In order to be able to nourish the little one at all, the hospital has offered the family a goat, as goat’s milk is most similar to breast milk and gives Zainbou precious nutrients.

After some weeks, the family is going to be visited for a follow-up examination, in order to control the little girl’s health and hygienic care.

In addition to that, she has got a health card, which identifies her as an orphan and offers her preferential medical treatment. Orphans are more prone to diseases and have a higher mortality risk, as after their parent’s death the children’s hygienic care is often neglected.

For these people, the humedica help makes a difference. Please continue your support so that we will be able to be by the side of the Nigerien population in the future, too. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      keyword "clinic Niger"
      account nb. 47 47
      bank code 734 500 00
      bank Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Mothers come to the Hosanna hospital weekly, in order to have their babies examinated. Photo: humedica

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