Though this past year brought a surge of Ebola cases in West Africa, Niger has been spared from the unforgiving virus. Cases have been reported across the border in Mali and Nigeria, but so far Niger remains clear.
As mentioned in the December 2014 Camel Express, we’ve posted the report on the reunion held in Estes Park, Colorado for the Niger III and Senegal IV training groups on September 29th through October 2nd of 2014. Come have a look:
The people of southeastern Niger have opened their homes, schools, and hospitals to thousands of refugees fleeing attacks by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.
Deadly attacks carried out in northeastern Nigeria by Islamic extremists known as the Boko Haram have created an urgent humanitarian crisis in eastern Niger. Since 2013, more than 115,000 refugees have fled from Nigeria seeking shelter in Niger. More than 10,000 arrived in Niger between Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, 2014. The need for medicines is desperate and has been exacerbated by an outbreak of cholera among the refugees and the local population. A MAP International container of medicines and supplies worth U.S. $1,600,000, including over U.S. $1,000,000 in antibiotics, sponsored by International Relief Teams (IRT), is being shipped to eastern Niger, but Kirker African Medical Relief Association (KAMRA) has to raise $10,000 in transport costs. To do this, the KAMRA is launching the “Medicines for the Most in Need” campaign. A $10 contribution will deliver over $1,000 in antibiotics and $600 in other medicines and supplies.
The towns of Maine-Soroa, Diffa, Bosso and N’guigmi have noted a significant flow of refugees, including women and children due to recent attacks on the Nigerian towns Damasak, Damaturu, and Gaidam, all located less than 40 miles from the border with Niger.
More refugees continue to arrive following the attack in Gaidam, a town located at about 20 miles from Maine Soroa on Sunday December 21. Among the recent flow of refugees, there are mainly children separated from their families, women vainly searching for their children, and teenage young men who fear being forced to enroll by the islamist group.
The situation in the Diffa region is exacerbated by cholera epidemics. Health authorities in the region are currently struggling to control an outbreak that has spread from Nigeria, aggravated by insecurity and waves of refugees.
An acute diarrhoeal illness caused by a bacteria that can cause rapid dehydration and death, cholera frequently spreads through the ingestion of water and food contaminated by human feces. The situation is getting more and more complicated, as the number of people infected is likely to be much higher than reported. Cholera has killed about 50 of the more than 1,350 infected late last year in southern Niger.
The MAP shipment contains antibiotics, as well as vitamins, anti-anemia, cardiac drugs and various supplies. These medicines will be placed in the region’s main hospitals as well as smaller health centers to treat local population and refugees free of charge. Nearly all refugee women, and children have not seen a doctor in months due to the insecurity, and in many cases their health centers in Nigeria being burnt down.
Health institutions to benefit from shipment include the regional Hospital of Diffa, the District Hospital of N’guigmi, and the Kirker Hospital of Maine Soroa.
The Kirker Hospital has a capacity of 164 beds. It now sees an average of 200 patients per day, representing more than 25% increase compared to previous months. Entirely run by Nigerien personnel, the Kirker Hospital has been supported by KAMRA for the past 8 years. It has an admission/observation ward, a maternity/delivery ward, a surgical ward, a laboratory, an X ray section, and a med-peds- malnutrition ward. It has a staff of 130 people including 1 general physician, 1 surgeon, 1 nurse surgery assistant, 1 nurse anesthetist, 1 nurse eye specialist,4 lab technicians, 22 nurses and over 100 non professional support staff.
To contribute, please visit the KAMRA website, http://www.kirkerassociation.org and click on the donate button. You can also send your contribution by check to:
Several years ago we told you the story of five RPCVs who traveled back to Niger in 2008 to create a documentary capturing the experiences of the entire group of 65 idealistic volunteers who landed in Niger in 1966.
Fortunately they completed their documentary, and the entire 75-minute production is available on YouTube for you to enjoy.
As part of its series “Africa – Case Studies in Economic and Social Issues”, the Henry George School of Social Science will host the following seminar on Niger. The event is being held in New York City, and all are welcome, with no cost or obligation.
Niger – Rich in Resources, Enabler of Energy, Resilient in Recession
Niger is endowed with plentiful natural resources, including the world’s largest deposits of uranium. Nuclear fuel derived from Niger’s uranium is an important source of Europe’s cheap, clean energy. Why does the country consistently receive low scores on the United Nations Human Development Index? Adam Barnes explores the contradiction between Niger’s facilitation of wealth creation abroad and chronic, widespread poverty at home.
Adam Barnes is currently working on his Doctorate in Comparative Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He also works closely with the social movement organization Poverty Initiative at the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice.
Niger – Rich in Resources, Enabler of Energy, Resilient in Recession
Thursday, Oct 9, 2014, 6:00 PM
“The Gallery” @ John Haynes Holmes House 28 East 35th Street (btwn. Park and Madison) New York, NY
1 Georgists Attending
Niger is endowed with plentiful natural resources, including the world’s largest deposits of uranium. Nuclear fuel derived from Niger’s uranium is an important source of Europe’s cheap, clean energy. Why does the country consistently receive low scores on the United Nations Human Development Index? Adam Barnes explores the contradiction between Nig…
Remember Niger Coalition is a small non-profit organization founded in 2009 that works at a grass-roots level to unify people and mobilize resources towards the goal expanding quality educational opportunities in Niger.
Remember Niger is an evangelically-focused organization, and although Friends of Niger typically promotes secular activities, we encourage you to check out the good work they are doing in-country. We applaud effective development work by secular and non-secular organizations alike.
Former PC Niger staffer (and Togo RPCV) Mark Wentling has just released the second book in his African Trilogy.
Published by Peace Corps Writers, Africa’s Releaseis available at Amazon.com. It will be made available as a Kindle e-book in the coming weeks.
Journey to another time and place in Mark Wentling’s magical new novel, Africa’s Release.
The residents of Gemini, Kansas, have grown used to the odd man who goes by the name of JB and roams their neighborhood in a befuddled state. But when he abruptly disappears one night, the townspeople find themselves facing uncomfortable questions, as JB’s life and the dark discoveries in his ramshackle home are made public.
Little do they know that JB’s ramblings have all been for a purpose: to transport him back to the African village he left many years before. Now he has returned to the old baobab tree that had years ago swallowed him up—an event that elevated him to the level of demigod in the eyes of the remaining villagers.
This sequel to the popular Africa’s Embrace, and the second book in Wentling’s trilogy, is sure to enchant readers once more.
The National Peace Corps Association has partnered with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to determine if there is a link between the risk of cancers, including breast cancer, and medications taken during Peace Corps service. The investigators have developed an online survey for RPCVs to measure health and health-affecting behaviors.
Consider contributing to this valuable research by following this link and completing the survey.
Female RPCVs who served between 1961 and 1990 represent an ideal group of people in whom to study this possible link, because about half of RPCVs took medication as part of their service and about half of them did not. Additionally, over 20 years has passed since their service and related medication use, so we can look at health changes over a long period of time.
No exhaustive list of RPCVs who served during that time is available, so the investigators are counting on your help!
The survey takes about 20 minutes and can be taken online or over the phone. Question topics include lifestyle risk factors for diseases and a brief medical history.