Physiotherapy is under-used in Niger. Within the country, only ten or so National and Regional hospitals are endowed with a functional rehabilitation ward. A Physiotherapy School does exist in Niamey, five students will graduate there in 2013. Our project aims at helping the most disadvantaged patients by enabling them to receive rehabilitation care.
The birth of the project.
Sabrina, Sandra and Camille volunteered from January to March 2008 at the capital’s Niamey National Hospital. They worked in Traumatology common wards, treating non-paying patients. Such wards lack physiotherapy treatment, which is direly needed. Hence, the project was hatched at their return.
The goals of the project.
The main goal is to ensure treatment in traumatology common wards.
Four Nigerien physiotherapists have followed one another since December 2009: Mahamadou, Diadié, Maman Sani, and Kadidja since March 2017.
So as to maintain follow-up care, a Nigerien physiotherapist has been engaged by the association in December 2009. His contract ended and he has been replaced by a young physiotherapy graduate: Diadie.
French physiotherapists came to second him in treating patients and they complement his theoretical and practical training. The feasability of tutoring Nigerien physiotherapy interns is under study. French physiotherapists could also assist the teaching staff of the Niamey Physiotherapy College.
From October 2010 to January 2011, French physiotherapists have been teaching on Friday afternoons at the Niamey School of Physiotherapy. A tutoring scheme for Nigerien physio interns is being studied. In the National Hospital, an in-job training mission has been launched, enabling working physios to improve their skills thanks to practical work.
Since January 2011, the association has relied on the employment of a Nigerien physio, as solidarity stays of French physios have been stopped for safety reasons.
The association has engaged a Nigerien physiotherapist and now relies entirely on him, as volunteer missions have all been cancelled since Antoine and Vincent’s death, following their abduction in Niamey on January 8th, 2011. The safety of French nationals being at risk, resuming such missions is out of the question at the present.
Concerning the funding of the project, our sole expense is Diadé’s wages. Three months’ wages have been covered by the Breakfast action launched in September by Nicolas, a physiotherapy student in Rennes.
Diadé’s monthly wages, 50,000 CFA (80 euros) are still entrusted to AECIN, but there is a hope that he could be incorporated into Niger civic service scheme, or, as a health worker, be integrated into the civil service.
Diadié’s status has changed, he started a two-year civilian internship within the hospital in June 2012. He left the Traumatology – orthopedics- neurosurgery ward and joined the hospital’s functional rehabilitation ward. We hope that after his civilian service he will recruited by the Niger State so as to reinforce the hospital’s rehabilitation team.
On February 2013 he was replaced by Maman Sani, a Niamey Physiotherapy School graduate, who practices in the common wards, pursuing the mission in favour of the patients who can’t afford the physiotherapy treatment they require.
Maman Sani’s status has now changed, he began his two-year civic service within the hospital in December 2013. Unlike Diadié he remains in the neurology, trauma-orthopedics ward, which enables him to pursue his work in the common wards. We hope he will be recruited by the Niger State after his civic service, which would acknowledge our association’s work to promote physiotherapy for everyone.
His salary will now be paid by the Niger State, as soon as the funds are allocated. We will top up his salary, so as to put forward his involvement in the project and in drafting monthly reports, which enable us to keep in touch with the project and to communicate with the physiotherapist.
In 2015, the purchase of technical equipment (2 walking frames, a pair of axillary crutches and a pair of forearm crutches) was added to that monthly expense.
The physiotherapy project is funded by AECIN from its own resources.
Moreover, four students of the Physiotherapy College in Rennes got in touch with AECIN during the 2016 first term in view of actions in favour of Niger.
After his civic internship Maman Sani wished to proceed professionally and did not extend his mission with us.
Early in 2017 RAEDD engaged a new physiotherapist, Kadidja, so as to maintain a rehabilitation program in the Niamey Hospital common wards.
Kadidiatoua’s appointment in Niamey’s Main General Hospital led her to leave the Hospital’s common ward in March. She recommended another physiotherapist to replace her. He is Goumar Abdoul Aziz who started practising in the common ward on May 3rd, 2019. As was the case with Kadidiatou, his salary is financed by AECIN’s own resources.
The action was stopped in March 2020, as AECIN’s own ressources were needed for other actions,