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Niger

Niger is home to some of the highest risk factors for obstetric fistula, including the world’s highest birth rate and one of the highest rates of adolescent marriage.

Why We Work in Niger

Niger is a large country covered by a harsh desert terrain. In 2018, it ranked dead last in the UN Human Development Index, a composite indicator of the development potential of the world’s 188 countries, combining life expectancy, education, and per capita income data.

Women in Niger are at particular risk for childbirth complications such as obstetric fistula due to broad socio-economic pressures. Female literacy rates remain below 15%, while its birth rate—an average of 7 children per woman—surpasses that of any other country. Early marriage and home deliveries are also common, resulting in one of the highest  maternal mortality rates in the world.  

A substantial backlog of fistula patients exists throughout the country.

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build Niger’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We are currently partnering with SIM Danja Fistula Center to deliver fistula treatment to women in Niger. The SIM Danja Fistula Center (DFC) is located in south-central Niger, near some of the poorest areas of northern Nigeria. It is well-positioned to serve women in need on either side of the Niger/Nigeria border where fistula is particularly prevalent.

Because of DFC’s high success rates for even the most difficult cases, the center is a beacon of hope for women with complex fistula, many of whom have already undergone multiple surgeries elsewhere.

Who are our past partners?

Kirker African Medical Relief Association

Kirker African Medical Relief Association (KAMRA) runs a hospital in Maïné-Soroa in the region of Diffa, an area that is isolated and far-removed from most quality healthcare establishments in the country. The Obstetric Fistula and Pelvic Floor Disorders Project was an initiative by KAMRA with funding from Fistula Foundation to establish fistula repair services in the region; however, due to insecurity, they were unable to get enough patients to successfully launch the program.

Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA)

In 2010, our partners at WAHA oversaw a comprehensive project to help the Central Maternity Hospital in Zinder function at optimal capacity. This ambitious undertaking had several components, including: completely renovating one of the two operating theaters in the hospital, which had fallen into disrepair; steadily increasing the number of fistula surgeries from five to over 20 a month; training medical staff in fistula care and providing advanced training to surgeons; and finally, conducting outreach to inform the public about the availability of free surgeries at the hospital. Not only were nearly 300 women treated during the grant period, but motivation among hospital staff and community health workers soared. We are deeply proud of this endeavor, which represents one of our first partnership efforts with WAHA.

How much funding have we granted?

SIM Danja Fistula Center

  • Pending grant for FY2019
  • $116,000 in FY2018
  • $50,000 in FY2017
  • $116,000 in FY2016
  • $50,000 in FY2015
  • $50,000 in FY2014
  • $50,000 in FY2013
  • $50,000 in FY2012
  • $50,000 in FY2011

 Kirker African Medical Relief Association -Kirker Hospital

  • $2,515 in FY2013
  • $2,515 in FY2012
  • $7,244 in FY2012

WAHA – Central Maternity Hospital, Zinder

  • $165,000 in FY2010

News from the Field

What Life Is Like In The Worst Country For Girls  •  November 01, 2016
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Huffington Post shares the story of a 13 year old girl named Ramatou, who lives in Niger, which was recently named the worst country for girls in a report released...
Huffington Post shares the story of a 13 year old girl named Ramatou, who lives in Niger, which was recently named the worst country for girls in a report released by Save the Children. In Niger, child marriage, adolescent fertility rates, and pregnancy complications such as obstetric fistula are some of the harsh realities facing young girls. Every day, Ramatou, 13, starts off her morning by sweeping the backyard...
Meet Zeinabou From Niger  •  January 30, 2015
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Zeinabou comes from a village 100 miles north of Danja, Niger. She was married and became pregnant while still in her teens. As is the local custom, Zeinabou planned to...
Zeinabou comes from a village 100 miles north of Danja, Niger. She was married and became pregnant while still in her teens. As is the local custom, Zeinabou planned to deliver her baby at home because maternity services are not easily accessible. And since this was her first delivery, custom also dictated that she leave her husband and move back with her parents in order to be under her mother’s care. When the time finally came to deliver, her labor was obstructed -- the baby would not fit through her pelvis and she remained in labor for days.
Where Young Women Find Healing and Hope  •  July 13, 2013
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They straggle in by foot, donkey cart or bus: humiliated women and girls with their heads downcast, feeling ashamed and cursed, trailing stink and urine. Some were married off at...
They straggle in by foot, donkey cart or bus: humiliated women and girls with their heads downcast, feeling ashamed and cursed, trailing stink and urine. Some were married off at 12 or 13 years old and became pregnant before their malnourished bodies were ready. All suffered a devastating childbirth injury called an obstetric fistula that has left them incontinent, leaking urine and sometimes feces through their vaginas.

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