Niger strengthens health system capacities to fight covid-19

by MCR Correspondent

Source: UNICEF

Health personnel were also trained on sorting and treatment protocols and are equipped with personal protective equipment

As part of efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus, Nigerien government has strengthened the country’s health system capacities.

This was disclosed on Saturday April 18, 2020, by HE Mr. Brigi Rafini, Nigerien Prime Minister and Head of Government.

Mr Rafini stated that he had on April 17, 2020, visited the Covid-19 treatment system set up at the National Reference Hospital of Niamey.

He added that he paid a special attention to the temporary health facilities installed by UNICEF, offering an additional capacity of 40 beds.

Equipped with a sorting center, these temporary structures are aimed at strengthening the capacity of the hospital for the treatment of people infected with the virus and are equipped with the necessary medical equipment, including the provision of oxygen concentrators.

Health personnel were also trained on sorting and treatment protocols and are equipped with personal protective equipment.

“I am confident with all the care arrangements you set up at the hospital. We are not going to give up. On my behalf, please encourage all the health personnel in this noble fight. We are looking at the situation through their eyes,” declared Mr. Rafini.

The establishment of these temporary structures has also made it possible to decongest the hospital and thus guarantee the continuity of other health services.

“Thanks to these temporary centers, the treatment circuit was isolated and allowed us the continuity of other health services in complete safety” said the Doctor-Colonel, Oumara Mamane, Director General of the General Reference Hospital of Niamey.

UNICEF plans in the coming days to expand these structures both in Niamey and in regions – to reach a total of 170 additional beds.

UNICEF took this opportunity to commend the commitment of health personnel – who, at the risk of their lives – are investing themselves daily to save other lives in the response to Covid-19.

“You are the frontline soldiers who are fighting against an invisible enemy.” said Dr. Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.

“We are behind you and will make your personal protection one of our main priorities,” he added.

UNICEF, alongside other partners, has also reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the government to stem the transmission of the virus in Niger.

UNICEF is leading on preventative actions in communities across the country with risk communication and community engagement, providing hygiene and medical kits and monitoring the impact of the outbreak to support continuity of care, education and social services.

UNICEF is also working to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on protection for children and women.

Covid-19, caused by a new coronavirus, has so far claimed more than 126,000 lives worldwide. In Niger, fifteen people died from the disease and 609 people tested positive as of April 17, 2020.

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