Child and maternal health

In Niger, we work to keep every child alive, healthy and free from HIV and AIDS

Health
UNICEF Niger/Phelps

Challenges

Today, children in Niger have a greater chance of reaching their fifth birthday than ever before. Child deaths have declined by a half over the past decades, a significant victory for children and women. In 1990, 326 children under five died for every 1,000 born. That number dropped to 85 in 2017 (UN IGME 2018). Still: most of these deaths are preventable with the right childcare practices and access to timely medical attention.

In Niger, progress is slowed because less than half of all children and mothers live close to a health facility. Only 25 per cent of babies are breastfed in the first six months of life and a mere 20 per cent of young children sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net to prevent malaria. Little progress has been made to reduce maternal mortality: every year, 1 in every 187 women die during pregnancy, childbirth or after delivery. Less than one fifth of basic emergency maternal and neonatal care needs are covered, denying countless women and babies life-saving services.

Solutions

UNICEF supports the Government to:

  • Increase the coverage and quality of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services particularly in the most deprived, underserved areas, including those affected by emergencies
  • Strengthen routine immunization nationwide with renewed emphasis on urban areas, on children on the move and hard-to-reach communities
  • Expand community health services including through demand creation and empowerment of caretakers and communities through social and behavioral change communication
  • Support efforts towards prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and treatment of paediatric HIV, to maintain and reduce the already low prevalence of HIV/AIDS (0.4 per cent)
  • Support strengthened political commitment, accountability and capacities to expand health interventions through increased government budgets in support of universal health coverage
  • Leverage government resources and partnerships for sustainable health systems through the health basket fund, with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,┬áTuberculosis and Malaria and the World Bank on health system strengthening, supply chain management and financial and physical access to health services and with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on immunization.
  • Advocate for a multi-stakeholder platform for community health and the integration of community-based data and supplies into the health system
  • Support the national roll-out of the integrated community case management programme launched in 2016 in three regions, along with the community health worker programme and the implementation of the sustainable incentives mechanism
  • In areas affected by emergencies, strengthen capacities in terms of prevention, preparedness and response to disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

Resources

Available publications, surveys, reports will be added in this section

ISSUE BRIEF : Maternal, Child and Newborn Care in Niger - August 2018