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The new project of COOPI Suisse against child malnutrition in Niger is about to start.
It is estimated that over 8 million children under the age of five require emergency food throughout the Sahel region, badly hit by the crisis of recent years.
Acute malnutrition is overcoming emergency thresholds in several countries including Niger, where the growing fragility of the country increases the inability to cope with the massive cases of severe acute malnutrition and severe food insecurity.
This scenario worsened during 2018 due to terrorist acts, military operations and inter-community conflicts, which increased the number of displaced people, thus further worsening the health situation.
Health facilities are needed to treat children suffering from malnutrition, tools and correct hygiene practices on the use of water and how to avoid bacterial infections that lead to 50% of cases of malnutrition.
To reduce mortality linked to malnutrition, quality pediatric care for children with medical complications remains a priority. For this, COOPI Suisse intends to ensure the most essential medicines to 16 health facilities in the area of intervention, which already provide for the provision of adequate care, free of charge, and guarantee that the most complex cases are taken on following the appropriate standards, decided by the Ministry of Health.
Furthermore, to contribute to the improvement of the quality of nutritional care in an integrated manner, COOPI Suisse will implement interventions on water and hygiene at health facilities that cover coastal villages, where the onset of diseases related to poor water quality are more frequent.
In addition to guaranteeing access to clean water in the supported centers (proper maintenance of the installations at the health facilities, promotion of good hygiene practices, availability of water and tools at the washing points, etc.), COOPI Suisse aims to provide children suffering from malnutrition the same guarantee even at home through the provision of a minimum support package, for the entire duration of the treatment (soap, kettle, tablets to disinfect non-potable water, cup, bucket and canister) . The composition of the kit is intended to cover the needs of all family members. The distribution will also be accompanied by hygiene and health education sessions with the head of the family.
The direct beneficiaries of the project severe acute malnutrition children are approximately 2,070 and moderate in all 16 centers supported by the project. Also, with the distribution of hygiene kits, water-525 can reach as many families, totaling about 3,150 people.
The project is being carried out from May to April 2019 2020.