WHO Supports 1.7 million Vulnerable People in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe

March 9, 2023
starving in North-East
Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) mostly men queue while waiting to be served with food at Dikwa Camp, in Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria, on February 2, 2016. The National Emergency Management Agency in collaboration with Borno State Emergency Management Agency has set up new IDP camps in Ngala, Marte, Bama and Mafa councils to decongest the growing population of IDP camp set up at Dikwa council of Borno State. Nigeria expects many of the 2.1 million people internally displaced by Boko Haram's insurgency to return home in the coming year, amid claims the Islamists are in disarray and a spent force. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

By Adedapo Adesanya

The humanitarian support provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in northeast Nigeria to the displaced and vulnerable populations in Nigeria’s conflict-ridden northeastern states reached new heights in 2022.

The global health authority supported over 1.7 million residents through emergency life-saving health services and other preventive measures in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states.

Giving the overview of the 2022 WHO aid activities in the BAY, the WHO northeast Emergency Manager, Dr Beatrice Muraguri, said the interventions were made possible with funds from donors, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECPHAO), and the governments of Germany and the Netherlands, the Nigerian Humanitarian Funds, and the Contingency Fund for Emergencies and others.

“WHO is committed to championing better and quality health for all in every emergency setting. The generous funds from our partners make it possible to continue assisting the vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations with essential health services, including Non-Communicable Diseases,” Dr Muraguri explained.

As part of the WHO’s commitment to improving lives, the WHO in the BAY states has built the capacities of almost 2,300 healthcare workers, including partners, to respond to outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases and other health hazards.

From January to December 2022, WHO reached an estimated 1,762,874 million people with strategic healthcare interventions.

A breakdown showed that 778,081 people were helped with access to health care (consultations and treatment for minor illnesses); 672,780 children were vaccinated against childhood illnesses; 238,351 were provided with vitamin A supplements; 73,662 pregnant women were supported with antenatal care services to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

Addressing malnutrition, 400,000 children 6-59 months were screened for Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), and 10,000 cases were referred to a nearby treatment centre.

Furthermore, 86,585 women and girls were sensitized about gender-based violence and its consequences on health; 1,842 GBV survivors were provided with GBV first-line support, while 146 survivors were referred to PHCs for further management.

A total of 32,215 patients also accessed treatment for mental health conditions, including epilepsy/seizure disorder, psychotic disorders, and mental retardation. WHO donated medical supplies for cholera outbreak intervention and mental health drugs, while an estimated 1,738,400 persons were reached with integrated health risk messages.

Other measures include the mobile health intervention programme implemented in the BAY states, which allowed WHO to reach the underserved communities in the region with quality and emergency life-saving services.

In the last six years, WHO has been collaborating with the BAY state governments to provide humanitarian health services to resolve health challenges stemming from the humanitarian crisis in the region.

WHO declared the humanitarian situation in the northeast at grade 3, owing to its gravity and impact on public health that put intense pressure on healthcare services in the affected communities.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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