he Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has committed over N4 billion to interventions addressing the on-going humanitarian crisis in the Northeast. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this disclosure during the commemoration of the 2017 World Humanitarian Day in Abuja. The sum was used in purchasing relief materials including drugs and medical consumables, hospital equipment, capacity building and deployment of volunteer health workers. He stressed that the crisis is both unprecedented and protracted and that the Ministry has deployed a two pronged approach aimed at providing basic medical services to the affected population and strengthening the pillars of the region’s health system.
The minister stated that the Federal Ministry of Health has responded to the humanitarian situation within Nigeria by strengthening its Special Projects Department and appointing a substantive director to coordinate health-related responses to the humanitarian crisis. A broad Northeast Health Sector Humanitarian Crisis Response Strategic Plan (NEHSHRSP) was developed with a primary objective of repositioning the health system within the region. A Rapid Response Team was also tasked with developing a six-month health and nutritional plan in Borno State to address the rapid decline in health and nutritional indices being recorded. The plan has been developed, approved, implemented and has now been extended by another six months due to the significant success recorded in increasing access to quality healthcare to communities.
According to Professor Adewole, among the Ministry’s achievements in the North-East are the diagnosis and treatment of about 15,000 cases of malaria in host communities and IDP camps; provision of family planning resources in host communities and IDP camps to about 4,000 women; provision of quality antenatal care to 14,355 women in host communities and IDP camps; and delivery of 1,100 babies through skilled birth attendants in host communities and IDP camps.