With the aim of reducing child mortality in Niger, World Vision’s Health & Nutrition Emergency Programme team in Maradi region, has been implementing the Niger Integrated Resilience Project (NIRP) pilot. The project’s goal is to reduce high prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls at puberty age. So far, this project has reached 11,434 adolescent girls in the communes of Sabon Machi and Dan Goulbi.
The project has contributed towards a significant reduction of the rates of anaemia among its target group, and led to improved school performance. Djamila, a 13-year-old grade five student from Iskita village in Maradi Region, is among the project beneficiaries. She says: “In the past, I was always ill and weak, without strength to do much in school or in the house. But after taking the medicine - iron and folic acid supplementation- I notice a big difference in my body. The doctor told me and my friends that the medicine helps to increase blood flow”.
Her favourite subject at school is mathematics and in future, she dreams of being a school teacher to help the children of her village. Djamila’s talents are not limited to school; she is also a hard worker in helping out at home, because after her school, she helps her mother with the house chores. “When I leave school, I help my mother in the house, by pounding the millet, sweeping the floor and fetching water. When I finish doing that, I revise my lessons”, she says.
Despite the support received, Djamila risks dropping out of school, because in Iskita, there is only primary school level education available. “In my village I do not have a college (high school) to be able to continue my studies”, she says. “Many teenage girls like me who finish primary school are forced to travel 14 kilometres to go to secondary schools in neighbouring villages. Because of that, others have dropped out of school. Most parents don't allow them to go very far".
The Government of Niger and partners such as World Vision and the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP) remain committed to reducing child mortality through the prevention of anaemia among adolescent girls like Djamila, so that they can experience life in all its fullness.