Niger (MNN) — The
African nation of Niger has ousted Afghanistan as the worst place in the world
to be a mother, largely due to hunger, according to an annual report by Save
Josh Korn is part of CURE International Niger's spiritual
development team. He details a key factor behind the assessment. "One
of the big ones is malnutrition. The country of Niger is suffering a food
shortage right now. That, obviously, has
implications on babies and their mothers."
After Niger, the next worst countries were listed as Afghanistan–which held the lowest spot for two years–Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Eritrea,
Chad, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
has hospitals in both Afghanistan and Niger.
While they have a similar mission, they have a unique focus to each
region. In Niger, CURE's hospital is
the only one of its kind in the entire country, explains Korn. "Our hospital
treats children with disabilities. We do a lot of cleft lip repairs, clubfoot
and we also treat a lot of burn victims."
in the capital city of Niamey, the hospital attracts patients from every region
of the country.
two operating theaters and 24 beds, their annual surgical capacity is approximately
1,000. They typically see over 250 patients per month at their outpatient
clinics. The Hospital has a total staff of 63 including five Expatriates.
2011, the team launched a national CURE Clubfoot Worldwide program in Niger
with the ultimate goal of treating every case of clubfoot in Niger. Their team
has already been providing training and support to other healthcare providers
in clubfoot treatment methods and is continuing to plan future trainings as they
expand the program.
Korn says the food crisis plays a role in what they do. Sometimes,
malnourished children don't have the strength to recuperate from a surgery, so
they have to be brought up to a healthy weight first. "We give them their square meals
a day, and unfortunately, that's better than a lot of them have at home, especially
when they come from a village. A lot of times, they don't want to leave the
Other times, just getting to the hospital is a hardship. Their team
responds as best they can to the needs with the resources they have. It's all part of their mission to heal
the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God. "When we're doing a life-changing
operation on a child, that is proclaiming the kingdom of God, and we're trying
to make that as explicit as possible. People here in Niger are very receptive
to hearing about Jesus and about the Gospel."
As the crisis worsens, CURE will continue to work to be part
of the solution and make the environment for being a mother a little less
fearful. Their immediate need? "Pray
specifically that God will send the rains soon. The rainy season in Niger is
supposed to be starting now, and so far, we haven't had any rain. Because of the crops that were so unsuccessful
last year, we're having massive food shortage now. If the rains don't come on
time this year, it'll be an even bigger problem."
We have more details about CURE's programs at our Featured Links