Nigeria : A year after, Hope and Healing in Katsina

In the heart of Nigeria’s Katsina State, the Mashi Local Government Area (LGA) has been grappling with a silent but deadly crisis: severe acute malnutrition. This life-threatening condition has left many children under five in dire need of medical and nutritional support.  

Séance de sensibilisation pour lutter contre la malnutrition aiguë sévère au Nigeria de l'ONG Première Urgence Internationale

Awareness-raising session to combat severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria by the NGO Première Urgence Internationale

To combat this, Première Urgence Internationale launched a vital project in May 2023 to provide immediate and long-term relief to the most vulnerable, focusing on treating severe acute malnutrition through the combination of medical treatment, nutritional rehabilitation and community education. 

The cornerstone of this initiative is the establishment of an Outpatient Therapeutic Programme and a 30-bed Stabilization Centre at the Mashi Comprehensive Health Centre. 

This Centre not only treats malnourished children but also offers a beacon of hope for their families, who often face despair and helplessness. 

Voice from the Field: A Testimonial of Transformation 

Aisha, a mother of four, shares her story: 

“My youngest child, Fatima, was very sick. She was so weak that I feared I might lose her. The local clinics were overwhelmed and could not provide the care she needed. When we arrived at the Premiere Urgence Internationale supported Health Centre, the team immediately admitted her to the Stabilization Centre. The doctors and nurses were so kind and attentive. Within weeks, I saw a remarkable improvement in Fatima’s health. The support I received from the Mother Care Groups was also invaluable. They taught me how to prepare nutritious meals and monitor my children’s health. I now have hope for my children’s future.” 

A Community Transformed: The Reach and Impact 

Initially targeting 146,820 individuals, the project has exceeded expectations by reaching over 242,580 people. The Katsina base became fully operational in June 2023, with the arrival of dedicated staff and the commencement of stakeholder engagement. Premiere Urgence Internationale‘s approach has been holistic, engaging the community through awareness sessions, training, and direct nutritional support. The formation of Mother Care Groups has been particularly impactful, empowering mothers with the knowledge and resources to care for their children and ensure their nutritional needs are met. 

Première Urgence Internationale teams fight severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria

Distribution of RUTF, a therapeutic food for the Malnourished children

Expanding Horizons 

Building on the success in Mashi, Premiere Urgence Internationale  expands its operations to Kurfi, another vulnerable area in Katsina State in order to replicate the comprehensive care model of Mashi, with a protection component.  

These activities are funded by the Centre de Crise et de Soutien of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Rapid Response Mechanism. 

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