By Dipo Olowookere
The World Health Organization (WHO) through the State Ministry of Health has delivered emergency medical supplies to Mafa and Dikwa IDP camps, two of the 15 areas liberated this year that host more than 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDP).
This, the world body said, was in response to the critical health needs of IDPs in Borno State.
The medical supplies are in form of Interagency Emergency Health Kit with enough drugs and medical supplies to treat 15,000 people for three months. Malaria and Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits were also provided. The supplies will be distributed to the existing health facilities in each camp and to mobile teams.
Receiving the items on behalf of Borno state government, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Abubakar Hassan, expressed his appreciation to WHO 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 supplies have therefore come in at the right time,” said Dr Hassan
The selection of the two camps follows the UN joint assessment mission to Mafa and Dikwa which showed high Malaria and Acute Respiratory Tract Infections rates in the IDP camps, accounting for 33% and 16% respectively.
Patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other chronic illnesses were unable to access the needed life-saving essential medicines. There is also a general limited access to health facilities due to their reduced functionality as a result of insecurity coupled with destruction of others.
Commenting on the donation of the medical supplies to Borno state government, Acting WHO country Representative, Dr Rex Mpazanje said “WHO is committed to supporting the government of Borno state and other parts of the North East 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”, said Dr Mpazanje.
In light of the humanitarian situation in Borno and other states in the North East part of Nigeria, WHO is appealing for US$ 13.5 million to support health interventions until the end of 2016 out of which US $ 2 million has been received so far leaving a funding gap of 82%.