(By Timothy Olanrewaju – MAIDUGURI)
Nearly N5 billion (USD $13.5 million) is required for critical health intervention of the insurgency ravaged northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
The world health body said in a statement by its communications officers at the Maiduguri office, Kulchumi Hammanyer and Pauline Ajello made available to journalists in Maiduguri, that more than 2.5 million people displaced and hundreds of communities destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency need urgent and critical medical intervention. It however said only $2 million US dollars have been received, leaving a funding gap of about 82 percent.
This came as the organization delivered emergency medical supplies to displaced persons at IDPs camp at Mafa and Dikwa towns; two of the 15 liberated areas this year by the military which hosts about 75,000 IDPs.
“The medical supplies are in the form of Interagency Emergency Health Kits, with enough drugs and medical supplies to treat 15,000 people for three months. C Malaria and Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits were also provided. The supplies will be distributed to the only existing health facility in each camp and to mobile teams,” WHO said.
Saturday Sun witnessed the loading of the medication into WHO trucks and movement of the medical intervention to the Mafa and Dikwa on Wednesday.
Borno State government represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Abubakar Hassan while receiving the intervention from WHO officials commended the body for providing the much needed medical supplies to Mafa and Dikwa camps following an assessment last week that showed widespread shortage of drugs.
“Many of the IDP health facilities in the state are in need of such assistance and WHO’s assistance has therefore come in at the right time,” Dr Hassan said.
WHO said the selection of the two camps follows the United Nations joint assessment mission to Mafa and Dikwa which showed that Malaria and Acute Respiratory Tract Infections rates are high in IDP camps, accounting for 33 percent and 16 percent.
“Patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other chronic illnesses were unable to access needed life-saving essential medicines. There also was a general limited access to health facilities due to their reduced functionality as a result of insecurity coupled with destruction of others,” the organization stated.
Commenting on the donation of the medical supplies to Borno State government, Acting Country Director, Dr Rex Mpazanje said “WHO is committed to supporting the government of Borno state and other parts of northeast Nigeria to continue to have access to health services including those in the hardest to access areas through the provision of emergency lifesaving medicines which currently are urgently needed.”