The District hospital in the community of Marriah on the edge of the Sahel is a set of sturdy buildings on a hard-packed clay campus.
The Therapeutic Pediatric Centre is its own building on the hospital campus. With 138 children when CARE visited, it is a buzzing place. The center diagnoses the kids who come here with any number of ailments, but most are predictable in this part of the world: malaria, anemia, malnutrition.
Roughly, one-quarter of the building is for children who are transitioning out of acute malnutrition but are still not out of danger. The building is stifling, and there is not enough room. The clinic has 33 beds for this centre. Right now, there are at least two children per bed.
Most children here are also suffering from malaria and anemia. This can compound the problem, threatening convulsions in some cases and the possibility of permanent physical and neurological damage in others.
This part of the hospital has approximately 15 staff on duty. Everyone moves as fast as they can while making sure every child is cared for.
Because of the crowded conditions, some mothers make room on the floor. Every child in the hospital is reliant on tubes and machines as their lifelines.
Staff at the hospital attend to a young child.
“If he lives, I want him to go to school and get his education,” says Seray of 2 year-old Issufu. “If he lives."