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.