Published On: Sat, Mar 17th, 2018

North East: 3.8m benefit from WHO free healthcare

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it provided health interventions to 3.8 million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast in the past one year.

Nigerian children in the North East

WHO said in its 2017 annual report that it coordinated health sector partners and reached 3.8 million people with health services.

The agency said that it worked closely with local officials, partners and community leaders to address the health risks posed by malnutrition, disease outbreaks, and long-term inaccessibility to basic health services.

Who said it provided technical and financial support for measles catch-up campaigns reaching 2.2 million children aged between six months and 10-years in 25 local government areas of Borno.

The fact sheet showed that more than 2.4 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) were administered to 648, 721 children at transit points in the war ravaged region.

It said that 375, 706 children were inoculated at inaccessible wards and settlements in Borno, while 21, 664 others were immunised against the disease in Yobe, Adamawa and neighbouring countries.

WHO said also that it provided technical support for the implementation of Immunisations Plus Days (IPDs) campaigns against polio reaching an average of two million children.

The document added that the agency facilitated the implementation of Local Immunisation Days (LIDs) in Borno, to reduce cumulative unimmunised children, noting that the ration dropped to 25, 000 from the staggering 63, 000; representing 61 per cent reduction, as at August, 2017.

On malaria control, the agency disclosed that anti-malarial drugs were administered to more than one million children aged between 03 and 59 months in each of the four cycles of emergency Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) exercise in the high risk areas.

Similarly, no fewer than one million people were vaccinated in a maiden cholera immunisation in Maiduguri; Jere, Konduga, Dikwa, Monguno and Mafa Local Government Councils of Borno.

The fact sheet further showed that more than 901, 000 children were screened for acute malnutrition, explaining that 7, 684 children were identified with Severe Acute Malnourishment (SAM) with medical complications and treated at 25 Stabilization Centres in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

It said that more than 800, 000 persons were also supported under the Integrated Healthcare Interventions through the mobile health teams in hard-to-reach areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

It stated further that more than 156, 000 children under aged-5 were reached with a comprehensive package of Integrated Maternal, Newborn, Child Health (IMNCH) interventions in 800 communities by 895 Community Resource Persons (CORPs);

While, over 2, 100 persons were supported with mental health services under its maiden mental health and psycho-social support scheme at various primary healthcare facilities in the region.

“Although, the working environment in the northeast is highly challenging and changes rapidly, the immediate goal of WHO and its partners is to reduce the rates of morbidity and mortality by scaling up life-saving health interventions.

“Resources and capacities to meet the enormous health service gaps are grossly inadequate as insecurity is a major constraint,” it said.

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