The Women of Niger


The Danja Fistula Center will primarily treat the Hausa women of southern Niger and northern Nigeria. Niger is one of the poorest, most underdeveloped countries on earth. Its economy has suffered both from droughts that wipe out livestock herds and farming production and a lack of infrastructure to support education, modernization or growth. Women are an important part of Hausa culture, but are not seen as equal to their male counterparts and have little opportunity to learn skills to better their family’s position or wealth. A great deal of a woman’s worth is related to her ability to bear and raise children, making the devastation of obstetric fistula even more profound. The most recent statistics available show that:

  • 85-percent of women in Niger are illiterate
  • People in Niger have a life expectancy of 53.6 years
  • Niger has the world’s highest birth rate: 51.6 per 1,000
  • Niger has the world’s highest fertility rate: 7.1 children per woman
  • 89-percent of deliveries occur outside of health care facilities
  • Only 11-percent of deliveries occur in health care facilities
  • Cesarean delivery rate is only 0.5-percent
  • Less than 20-percent of obstetric emergencies receive care
  • Lifetime risk of maternal death is one in seven
  • Tens of thousands of fistula patients in Niger are in need of help