Abuja, July 9, 2021 – The humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) remains protracted, with around eight million people at risk of displacement, impoverishment and threats of violence. As a result, WHO has decided to maintain the current Grade 3 health emergency status declared in the region since 2016.
The World Health Organization three-level scoring teleconference hosted by Representative (WR) in Nigeria Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo recommended the same score for the humanitarian crisis affecting northeast Nigeria. The decision to maintain a prolonged level 3 emergency was taken, following the presentation of the situation analysis and risk assessment of the region during the 10th Joint Operations Review (JOR) in Abuja (05 -06 July 2021) with the participation of the three levels of the Organization.
The goal of the mid-term 2021 JOR for the WHO health emergency program in northeastern Nigeria was to take stock of the achievements and challenges of the humanitarian response spanning the past six months, compared Operational Plan 2021, Northeast Nigeria Humanitarian Program 2021. Response plan, including an assessment of the region’s COVID-19 response
After presentations from different pillars of the humanitarian response, the WR said, âThe security situation remains complex, unpredictable and volatile, with existing health vulnerabilities exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “
He stressed the need for WHO and its partners to accelerate the implementation of the operational plan during the remaining period in order to ensure the provision of quality health services to populations at risk.
Currently, the operating environment in BAY states is characterized by increasing insecurity, resulting in waves of new displacement, growing food insecurity and malnutrition, a situation that is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore obliges WHO to maintain the current level 3 health emergency in order to maintain its current level of operations in the region.
The WR reaffirmed WHO’s commitment to continue to provide the essential leadership and coordination of health sector partners to provide health services to the population in the three states.
The humanitarian health emergency in northeastern Nigeria was first classified in 2016 at grade 3, the highest level, due to its severity and impact on public health which significantly reduced access basic health services and made the population vulnerable to epidemics, malnutrition, injuries and mental health. After four rounds of rating reviews, with the emergency remaining active, the emergency was classified as a prolonged emergency.
According to the WHO assessment, a protracted emergency is an environment in which a significant proportion of the population is extremely vulnerable to death, disease and disruption of livelihoods over an extended period of time. Governance in these contexts is often weak, with limited state capacity to respond to and mitigate threats to the population, or to provide adequate levels of protection.
WHO Emergency Officer for North East Operations Dr Lako Richard Lino Loro, who previously gave a detailed security update, said: âBay States still have a high proportion vulnerable population groups who remain at high risk of epidemics. The current incidence of infectious diseases in the region can only worsen current levels of morbidity and mortality. “
Previous disease trends in northeast Nigeria also indicated a likelihood of outbreaks of cholera, meningitis, Lassa yellow fever and other vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio, particularly due to the impact of COVID-19 which has increased vulnerability and limited access to essential health services.
Likewise, overcrowding and lack of access to WHSH and waste management facilities also increase the risk of communicable disease transmission and outbreaks of epidemics.
At the end of the meeting, health emergency experts at WHO headquarters and the WHO Regional Office for Africa found the JOR to be very productive and a valuable exercise in understanding the persistent and protracted nature of the crisis. . Concerns have been expressed about the increase in attacks on health facilities and workers, which means reduced access to health services by vulnerable populations. All participants from the 3 levels agreed in tandem that the needs of the affected population could remain for the next 6 months, thus justifying maintaining the current rating.
The JOR is a biannual internal WHO exercise to review the organization’s health emergency programs in northeast Nigeria, aiming to review current strategies and adjust them for the next six months. The expected results of the JOR include revised operational strategies, clearly defined milestones for the next six months.
Dr Richard Loko; Email: [email protected]; Phone. : 08034022392
Mr. Geoffrey Namara; Email: [email protected]; Phone. : +234 703 178 1773
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