Hope in the Sahel

3rd December 2020

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God is working through new healthcare centers in the Sahel of southern Niger.

Imagine you live in the small rural village of Taraouraou in southeastern Niger where visiting a doctor requires walking nearly nine miles in the desert sun. You are shivering with malarial fever despite the sun’s blazing heat, or dehydrated by dysentery from a contaminated water source. Still, you must make a long journey on foot to receive even basic medical care.

National and local leaders along with local residents joined with our staff and medical workers to celebrate the new healthcare center in southeastern Niger.

National and local leaders along with local residents joined with our staff and medical workers to celebrate the new healthcare center in southeastern Niger.

Or imagine giving birth to a child miles from a suitable healthcare center. When an under-resourced health hut was the only alternative in her eight-village area, one woman described these conditions:

“We had to deliver our babies on the floor on a plastic bag. And when our water pump broke down, there was no water to wash the plastic bag.”

More than 50 percent of the population of Niger faces the reality of a lack of access to healthcare. Even more importantly, few know the true hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Recently though, through the work of Samaritan’s Purse, the Niger Ministry of Health, and local leaders, three of those small health huts have now become integrated health centers. We provided the clinics with construction materials to build new additions to their facilities, and also gave them much-needed medical equipment—including beds for deliveries.

In October, a special ceremony was held to commemorate one of the completed health centers, which has a capacity to care for more than 16,000 people across 12 villages. When families and leaders from the surrounding communities visited, they were encouraged to seek medical care at the new center and to be proactive about maintaining their health.

The chief nurse of the inaugurated health center said that this new medical facility is a blessing from God for so many.

“We could not have done this without the support of Samaritan’s Purse,” she said. “Our population had suffered greatly due to the lack of basic health services. Now we thank God that Samaritan’s Purse came our way.”

“Our population had suffered greatly due to the lack of basic health services. Now we thank God that Samaritan’s Purse came our way.”

Samaritan’s Purse Programme Manager Grace Nganga said this project will serve as a beacon of hope for countless families in this area of Niger.

“I was moved by how excited the women were to see a delivery bed made just for having babies,” Nganga said. “We have brought dignity to these women. We pray that through this, many in this area will experience true hope in their lives.”

Please continue to pray for the people of Niger and for our staff as we offer them help in Jesus’ Name.

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