START NETWORK Selects ALIMA and GOAL in fight against Cholera outbreak in Niger

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NIAMEY, Niger, 24 August 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Start Network has raised £200,000 to help fight the cholera outbreak in Niger’s Maradi and Zinder regions.

Niger government through the Ministry of Public Health declared a cholera epidemic on August 7, 2021. Following this announcement, Start Network members, a global network of non-governmental organisations, made up of more than 50 national and international aid agencies from five continents, raised an alert for cholera in Niger to the Start Fund. The alert was activated on 13 August and the partners were selected on 14 August 2021.

Start Network has chosen ALIMA and GOAL and awarded them £200,000 to oversee the community intervention measures to help curb the spread of the disease. The Network’s aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action and localisation.

The crisis response will include:

·    Setting up Cholera Treatment Centers (CTC) that will function 24/7 with ongoing support in terms of human resources, logistical and medical equipment.

·    Setting up oral rehydration points (ORPs) in peripheral areas experiencing outbreaks to provide treatment to simple cases directly to relieve congestion in treatment centres.

·    Training of community health workers on the detection, notification, and management of cases and data reporting, as well as sensitisation/preventative measure practices.

·    Community sensitization activities on topics such as signs of the disease, the contamination process and the hygiene procedures to adopt.

·    Provision of food and non-food items to inpatients within the treatment centres.

·    Distribution of soap, tabs for water purification and PPE to communities.

Start Network’s intervention is timely given that regions affected are resource strained. The Maradi region is endemic for cholera, with cases being detected every 3-5 years. However, it has very limited means to manage this as the conditions for case management are suboptimal and the health district lacks partners. The Zinder region, and the Mirriah district, also regularly faces epidemics cholera, as well as measles, pertussis, and meningitis. The current rainy season amplifies the risk factors.

“We want to ensure that people affected by the cholera outbreak in Niger get quick access to funding and resources so they can receive the best help, fast,” said Serena Suen, Start Fund Programme Manager at Start Network.

“In the face of sudden-onset crises and humanitarian emergencies, the added value of the Start Fund is clear, as it allows humanitarian actors to respond to the immediate needs of populations in a timely and efficient manner,” says Dr. Ahmad Ag Mohamed Aly, Medical Coordinator for ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) in Niger. “Thanks to emergency funding from the Start Fund, the ALIMA/BEFEN consortium was able to respond quickly to the ongoing cholera outbreak in the health districts of Maradi and Mirriah, providing quality medical care to cholera patients to limit mortality, while implementing WASH and community awareness activities to control the spread of the outbreak.” 

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Start Network.

Notes to editors

Start Network – @startnetwork
Start Network is a global network of non-governmental organisations, made up of more than 40 national and international aid agencies from five continents. The network’s aim is to transform humanitarian action through innovation, fast funding, early action and localisation.

Members of Start Network:

Action Against Hunger (ACF); ACTED; Action Aid; Adeso; Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA); ARDD-Legal Aid; Cadena; Cafod; Care International; Caritas Bangladesh; Caritas Sri Lanka; Catholic Relief Services (CRS);Christian Aid; Community World Service Asia; Concern Worldwide; Cordaid; Doctors of the World; Dorcas; Goal; Humanity and Inclusion; Help Age International; International Medical Corps; International Rescue Committee (IRC);Islamic Relief Worldwide; Mines Advisory Group; Mercy Corps; Muslim Aid; Oxfam; PARC; Plan International; PRO-VIDA; Qatar Charity; Relief International; Save the Children; Solidarites International; Tearfund; Trocaire; War Child; Welthungerhilfe; World Jewish Relief; World Vision

For further information contact:

Helen James
Head of Communications & Digital Start Network
+44 (0)7887853071

ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) is a medical humanitarian NGO established in 2009 to provide quality health care to the most vulnerable people in high-mortality areas during emergencies and crises. ALIMA relies on an operational model based on partnerships with national humanitarian actors and local communities, and has established itself as a key player in the medical humanitarian field in Africa. ALIMA’s ambition is to revolutionize emergency medical aid and transform humanitarian medicine, by conducting research and fostering innovation to strengthen the impact of humanitarian actions. In 12 years, ALIMA has treated more than seven million patients in 14 countries, and launched more than 30 research projects, with a focus on malnutrition, malaria, the Ebola Virus Disease, COVID-19 and Lassa fever. In Niger, ALIMA and its local NGO partner BEFEN (Well-being of Women and Children in Niger) work on several themes, including maternal health, malnutrition, pediatrics, emergency response, malaria, and research, and have previously responded to multiple cholera outbreaks within the country.

Media contact

For more information or interview requests (EN/FR), please contact:

Jennifer Lazuta, ALIMA Communication Officer
+221 77 098 8418 (Mobile and Whatsapp)

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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