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
The counsellors of Tarbiyya Tatali
A 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 was recruited in 2018 for the villages of Dogondoutchi, financial outgoings being shared by AECIN and the Orsay Dogondoutchi Exchanges Association with a similar mission
Training, pagivolts and video sketches
Training of relay perople is organized for the women and men identified by the two counsellors. Initially lasting three days and devoted to modern methods of contraception, they were extended to four days to also address the issue of girls’ schooling. A three-day training reinforcement is also organized, with the aim of exchanging around a feedback on their practice in the villages and to check that the previous knowledge has been assimilated.
In Dankassari, the trainin sessions were financed by the AESCD within the framework of the program “Advancing towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the villages of Dankassari” and the following programs in 2018-2020 and 2021-2023. This way 86 relay women and 24 relay men received initial training funded by tAESCD: 30 women in 2017, 30 women in 2018, 26 women and 24 men in 2020. Additional training was provided to 30 women in 2021, the training was delayed due to the ban on training sessions by the Nigerien government because of COVID. It finally took place from March 5 to 7, 2021, with the participation of the two family planning counsellors. Moreovercomplementary training took place for 56 women and 24 men in 2022.
In Dogondouchi, 120 relay women received initial training funded by the Orsay Doutchi association: 60 in November 2019, 30 in 2020 and 30 in 2021.
Tools: illustrated charts and filmed sketches At the request of those trained, an image box (set of 27 illustrated charts) was produced, as well as four filmed sketches “Akwai Magana ! Let’s talk about it !”. The image box is used permanently by the counsellorss. During the training sessions, image boxes are distributed to allow each village to have one on site.
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.
The visits of the two facilitators continued in 2021 and 2022.