News

Niger: Focus on Integrated Health Centres

3 June 2019
A woman at the health center waiting to be consulted. @UNFPA WCARO/Habibou Dia 

 

Niger has eight mother and child centres across its territory. These centres offer various services, including ante- and post-natal consultations, care for high-risk pregnancies, caesarean sections, and inpatient and outpatient gynaecological care.

 

To address the capacity-building needs of medical staff in Maradi, Madina was deployed to the El Kota Integrated Health Centre. Most of the young women interviewed at this integrated health centre had come for their first antenatal consultation as they were starting their second trimester of pregnancy. They had not previously had an antenatal consultation, which is contrary to recommendations. However, women fear being judged unfavourably if they attend a consultation during the first three months of pregnancy. In rural areas, they are at risk of being criticized, as some people think they do not want to continue with the pregnancy.


Women at the health center waiting to be consulted. @UNFPA WCARO/Habibou Dia 

 

With counselling, these women, in turn, raise awareness among those who remain in the village and inform them that they should attend a consultation as early as possible. This method of awareness-raising improves the number of women attending antenatal consultations.

During the campaign, Madina saw one woman who had gone through ten deliveries without any family planning. Following counselling, the woman wanted to get an intra-uterine device. 

Salimou Ibrahima is another patient at this centre. By the age of 30, she had already delivered nine children, three of whom had died. Salimou travelled 12 km from her village, Kamchiroua, to receive medical advice.

 

One of the objectives of the Maradi campaign is for men to understand that the antenatal consultation is very important for the protection of a woman and her child. It makes it possible to prevent diseases that could affect the mother and the child.


Ms Bilal Madina Thiam, midwife at the Mother and Child Centre in Agadez at the El Kolta Health Centre. UNFPA WCARO/Habibou Dia

 

“I received a 42-year-old woman who already had ten children. She was not aware of any family planning methods. After giving her some information, she agreed to use a method of family planning. I was very satisfied with my work as I was able to have a positive impact on a woman’s life.”

Ms Bilal Madina Thiam, midwife