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Insurgency: Boko Haram destroyed One third of health facilities in N/East – WHO

The World health organization (WHO) has estimated that one third of more than 700 health facilities in Borno State, in north-eastern Nigeria, have been completely destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency.

It said the remaining one third of the facilities are not functional at all.

In a report released yesterday by the Organization, WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Wondi Alemu said, “High insecurity, difficult terrain and lack of health workers, medicines, equipment and basic amenities such as safe water are making access to essential, life-saving health care extremely difficult for people in this conflict-affected area.

The report identified 743 health facilities in Borno State, of which 35 per cent are completely destroyed, another 29 per cent partially damaged and only 34 per cent intact.

About 100 temporary health facilities have been set up to support the response, of which 49 are emergency clinics for displaced people living in camps.

The report said that of the 481 health facilities that have not been destroyed, 31 per cent of them are not functioning, mostly as a result of lack of access due to insecurity.

Almost 60 per cent of health facilities have no access to safe water (32 per cent have no access to any water at all) and 3 out of 4 (73 per cent) facilities do not have enough chlorine stocks to decontaminate the water used in the facility.

It will be recalled that WHO has been working with the Borno State Ministry of Health to set up a Health Resources Availability Monitoring System.

Reacting to the development, the Deputy Director for Planning, Research and Statistics in the Borno State Ministry of Health, Mr. Kadai Baba Gana said, “The information from this system is critical to inform the management of Borno State Ministry of Health and its partners on gaps that need to be addressed urgently.

Gana who is the HeRAMS Task Team Chairman, said: “This will help us to better coordinate and monitor the response and guide the allocation of scarce resources.

HeRAMS is a rapid online system used to monitor which health facilities, services and resources are available and accessible in emergency settings. Health workers are trained by WHO to enter key information into the system about the clinic or hospital where they work.

“This information includes the kind of services the facility can provide, whether the infrastructure has essential resources like electricity and water, the skills of health workers, and the type of services, equipment and medicines available as well as support received from external partners.

“WHO’s top priority is to help save lives and prevent sickness among the estimated 6 million people who need health assistance in this crisis.”

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