Niger Malnutrition Zinder Niger West Africa Tuesday, October 10, 2006
2006 Same as 2005
Today, Tuesday, October 10, 2006, I walked over again to the MSF office to track down answers to my question.
Medecins Sans Frontieres - or - Doctors Without Borders - in English
My question was this, how many Feeding centers was their last year, (2005) and how many feeding center are there this year? (2006)
My first attempt was to be sent to the other office to talk with Marie, I never found Marie, got an invitation to get married with the Secretary, but no Marie, she was - Sortie. -
I waited around; they said she was from Madagascar, not a normal western culture, thought, hmm. I could wait all day for Madagascar to return. I said I would marry the girls, said goodbye and left.
Today, early I went again the office across the street from the something called a Hotel Central, not much on hotel, but it is central. I again looked for an answer.
I talked this time with Roberto from Italy. He was nice, smokes, I though to say something, but so did the French man who showed me a chart in Maries office, there are two offices.
Roberto was nice, he asked, or kept saying, you should talk with Marie. He said, I would try to find the answer finally, come back at 5:00 in the afternoon.
I go back a little early, about 4:00, as hard to know if at 5:00 what will be there or happening. Roberto come and answers or explains. He was not in the country in 2005, and he does not know the situation. I want to clarify; this is not an easy question. He does say the MSF site may have the statistics.
He says, there have been many changes in Feeding centers, and there are also early preventive type feeding center that are meant to stop the problem before the children need to be hospitalized.
Malnutrition weakens the immune systems and affects hardest the children under five years old. The MSF, Red Cross, and other groups feed the children high nutrient type substances, I am not sure exactly that nourishes the children.
Roberto does not know the numbers; Marie says there are so many different organizations now. I asked, - Is there more ONG? - That is French for NGO or Non Governmental Organizations, and Roberto says, - Yes, there are more now. -
He is careful, and he was trying to be clear, he is not a spokesperson for MSF and Marie is the person to talk with, however, as best he can explain the statistics are not available.
I asked, not wanting to lead the witness. - Are the number of feeding centers, more, less, or the same? - He says, - The same. -
The problem is the same, the feeding centers are the same, and however they are now distributed among more or different ONG - NGO’s.
He comments about they are a group for medicine and not development, and the solution to malnutrition is in the development sectors of ONG or NGO.
I am cynical, I do not see anyone working on long-term solutions, (Development) I came back because I wanted to know if it was really a problem every year or only last year when BBC and CNN misrepresented the situation. - They LIED - Saying it was a Famine, there was no famine; there is no Famine in Niger.
There is a huge problem with not eating a diverse diet, they do not eat a balance diet of foods, this in my opinion is a problem that has existed for hundreds of years, and maybe thousands.
I am spectator or the world of the media, I like to see to what limits they will go and how cruel they can be, just what they will say and do to make up stories, make their network, the voice to the masses of person who cannot travel to Niger and check, like me.
I said to Roberto, I found one ONG- NGO that is helping to solve the problem. It is the only one I know that is helping. I rather push the name onto Roberto. http://www.eden-foundation.org
I write it down; he is a good person, like most White People they are here for a very short time, not the long haul, sort of a snapshot volunteer. Doing something good, but also there is a large bureaucracy and many rules.
The forces that be are saving more children, more mothers will have more children, and now there will be more babies when the ones that survived, have their own malnutrition babies.
A spiral of more and more need, and where it ends, nobody knows.
Let me simply my question to reality.
I wanted to know, - Are the NGOs solving the problem? -
This is what I really wanted to know, I wanted to know if they was working on the solution or the problem, are they part of the problem or part of the solution.
It is easy to think you are part of the solution, when you give something to a person, it feels good to give.
Are you though part of the problem or part of the solution? Treating the symptoms will not solve the problem.
I am weak, I do not know, I think the mind of man has lost the ability to focus on solutions. There has to be someone that says, why don’t we look for a long-term solution so this NGO does not get bigger…
One man in Niamey said to me, - Andy, please, do not get angry, you must understand, it is a business.-
2006 Same as 2005
Malnutrition Thrives in Niger and the Business of NGO’s thrive, and on and on and on…