Measles Vaccinations Open Doors for the Gospel in Niger

July 26, 2019 • Niger
Medical teams provide measles vaccinations for people in remote areas of Niger.
Medical teams provide measles vaccinations for people in remote areas of Niger.

Samaritan’s Purse is bringing measles vaccinations to underserved areas of Niger and presenting the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Samaritan’s Purse is responding in Niger’s Tahoua Region, west of the capital Niamey, where hundreds of measles cases have cropped up in an area desperately needing the most basic medical care.

Samaritan's Purse is providing mobile clinics to help reach remote areas with medical care.

Samaritan’s Purse is providing mobile clinics to help reach remote areas with medical care.

We are providing vaccinations to the communities hardest hit by measles—a highly contagious respiratory condition that produces a rash, high fever, and flu-like symptoms. It can cause severe respiratory distress among very young children and the already infirm. People in impoverished and remote areas are especially susceptible to this potentially life-threatening illness.

“Historically measles has been a major cause of childhood death and disability in Niger,” said Grace Nganga, health and nutrition program manager for Samaritan’s Purse in Niger. She said 80 percent of those severe cases involved children under age 5—a particularly vulnerable age range for the disease.

So far more than 3,700 people have been vaccinated through the program, and several hundred of these have also received an additional preventative vitamin A treatment. Teams are working tirelessly to ensure at least 90 percent of the district is immunized. Nganga says achieving this ratio should stave off threats of an outbreak.

Expanding Capacity

We are also helping expand the medical capacity—in terms of equipment, supplies, and trained personnel—of local medical services in remote areas of Niger.

We’ve sent teams to operate mobile clinics in remote areas in and around Bouza and Malbaza. Through these clinics we’ve made vaccinations and other care available in locations far from any other health centers.

“When Samaritan’s Purse knocked at our door, we had no one. The situation was overwhelming,” said Oumarou, a local doctor who says his staff is weary from trying to keep up with meeting medical needs. “Now through mobile clinics provided by Samaritan’s Purse we are able to reach populations that are far from health centers, and we are able to build the capacity of our health staff through trainings that Samaritan’s Purse is funding.”

Medical teams take the opportunity to pray with each patient and recount the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. And through trained evangelists assigned to our medical teams, providing measles vaccinations also provides opportunities to tell communities about the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.

SUPPORT
Samaritan's Purse responds to medical emergencies in a variety of ways—through an emergency field hospital, a riverboat clinic serving remote Amazon villages in Bolivia, and the only hospital in a war-scarred state in South Sudan. Your gift will help bring expert treatment and the hope of the Gospel to victims of disaster or war.
Emergency Medical Care Samaritan's Purse responds to medical emergencies in a variety of ways—through an emergency field hospital, a riverboat clinic serving remote Amazon villages in Bolivia, and the only hospital in a war-scarred state in South Sudan. Your gift will help bring expert treatment and the hope of the Gospel to victims of disaster or war.

Emergency Medicine 013759
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