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WHO-supported northeast interventions

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By Mercy Kelani

Organization provides health services to vulnerable people in BAY region.

WHO has conducted another humanitarian response known as the mobile health intervention programme. The programme is currently being implemented in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states to reach vulnerable communities in the region with quality and emergency life-saving services. It has been six years since WHO’s collaboration with the BAY state governments for provision of humanitarian health services to serve as resolution to health challenges caused by humanitarian crisis in the area. The humanitarian situation in the region is declared at grade 3 by the organization.

In the BAY states, as the commitment of the organization to ensure improvement of lives, it has improved the capacities of over 2,000 healthcare workers, including partners, to tackle outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases among other health issues. WHO’s record from January to December 2022 revealed an estimate of 1,762,874 million people who had strategic health care interventions; 778,081 people who had access to health care; and 672,780 children who received vaccination against childhood illnesses.

Donated medical supplies for cholera outbreak intervention.

Over 238,300 people were also provided with Vitamin A supplements, while 73,662 pregnant women were supported with antenatal care services to aid reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. As a response to malnutrition, 400,000 children, ranging from 6-59 months received screening for Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) with a referral of 10,000 cases to a nearby treatment center. Likewise, 86,585 women and girls received sensitization concerning gender-based violence and it’s health consequences, while 1,842 GBV survivors received provision of GBV first-line support.

146 other GBV survivors got referrals to PHCs for further management. An estimated 32,215 patients also gained access to treatment for mental health conditions which includes epilepsy or seizure disorders, mental retardation and psychotic disorders. The World Health Organization (WHO) also sponsored donation of medical supplies for cholera outbreak intervention and mental health drugs. The organization also reached a total of 1,738,400 million people with integrated health risk messages. The WHO-supported interventions were applauded by the BAY states governments.

State governments commended WHO for its support.

The Director of Public Health, Borno State Ministry of Health, Dr. Goni Haba, applauding WHO for its support to the Borno State, noted that the intervention of WHO has made the health systems resilient. He added that capacity building for healthcare workers and deployment of Mobil health teams has aided underserved citizens in hard-to-reach communities, enabling provision with required emergency health services, regardless of their locations. He therefore acknowledged the laudability of the WHO technical team to disease outbreak response.

Similarly, the Adamawa state Executive Chairman of the Agency, Dr. Suleiman Bashir, commended the WHO for its basic life-saving support. According to him, the interventions are numerous with the inclusion of outbreak prevention, mental health services, basic life-saving interventions, disease control, and Gender Based Violence (GBV) carried out through the mobile health hard-to-reach team. The community mobile health team are a group of trained medical professionals by WHO for urgent provision of required essential health services to vulnerable and displaced communities.

Donors also give funds to fuel the interventions.

Dr. Beatrice Muraguri, the WHO northeast Emergency Manager, affirmed that the interventions received funds from donors which include the United States Agency for International Development, governments of Germany, the Nigerian Humanitarian Funds, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Netherlands and the Contingency Fund for Emergencies and others. She further emphasized WHO’s commitment to leading better and quality health for all in every emergency setting. Reaching vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations with essential health services is made possible through funds from partners.

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