The massive population growth, higher than economic growth, is prejudicial to the Nigerien population’s well-being.
Family planning in Niger
Modern contraception is still little used in Niger, particularly in rural areas.
The Public Health Ministry has adopted a long-term plan (2012-2020) to contribute to curbing population growth through family planning. The goal is to move from 11% to 50% prevalence of modern contraception through three strategic lines reinforcing family planning:
- increasing supply in health centers
- increasing demand through education and awareness
- promoting a suitable environment.
Important resources are to be found to implement the project
Tarbiyya Tatali’s contribution
A specialist counsellor was engaged in November 2015, out of AESCD’s own funding. She is in charge of increasing demand through education and awareness. On the other hand, health centers are in charge of answering demand.
She first got in touch with the ‘Savings For Change’ groups groups which are still very active in Dankassari in spite of the Stromme Foundation’s decision to stop financial aid.
She visits all the villages in the Dankassari rural community for awareness reunions. Her aim is to identify and train correspondents in the villages.
The first goal is to combat early marriages (before 18 years) and first pregnancies occurring before 19. The second goal is to improve women and children’s well-being by spacing out births and using modern contraceptive methods. The third goal is to contribute to an evolution of mentalities, particularly among men. The fourth goal concerns population awareness, so as to establish the link between economic and human development in Niger and mastering demography.
A second counsellor has been recruited for the villages of Dogondoutchi, financial outgoings being shared by AECIN and the Orsay Dogondoutchi Exchanges Association.
Two training sessions for 30 female monitors in villages took place within the program Going ahead toward Sustainable Development targets in the Dankassari villages, end of 2017 and early 2018. Two 30 female monitor trainings took place in the Dogondoutchi villages in November 2019.
To review the family planning training of 30 lady monitors, a three-day session was organized, aiming at assessing their experience in the villages after their training late 2017 early 2018, and to check their mastery of their initial knowledge. The training session was delayed as training sessions were cancelled by the Nigerien government owing to COVID. It eventually took place from March 5th to 7th, with two family planning counselors.
They were given a family planning demonstration kit, as well as a 27 illustrated charts.
Efforts toward changing mental habits are reflected in statistics, According to the 2017 survey Demography and Health in Niger , the birth rate has dropped from 7,6 in 2012 to 6,0 in 2017, The fall is higher in the Dosso region which includes Dankassari and Dogondoutchi, dropping from 7,5 to 5,7 children per woman.
From 2018 to 2020, Maimouna Kadi, counsellor, met over 11000 persons, including about 35% men in the Dankassari rural community, in several dozen villages. She also took part in the registry awareness campaign early in January 2021, which led her to travel to remote areas where she can’t use a motor bike, such as Karki Malam.
Rekia Toumane, counselor working in contact with the Integrated Health Center of Dogondoutchi, visited a number of villages of the Dogondoutchi Department in 2018, and overall saw 2300 persons in eight months, i.e. 300 persons per month with roughly 40% men. In 2019, she visited 25 further Dogondoutchi villages i.e. 5 villages per month including 3 meetings per village (15 meetings per month), dealing with one or two topics per visit.
In 2020, Rekia Toumane continued her visits and met 3540 persons overall, namely 2260 women and 1280 men.