Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2 Out of 3 Health Facilities in Nigeria’s Borno Destroyed or Idle

Two-thirds of health facilities in Nigeria’s Borno state – the center of the Boko Haram insurgency – have either been destroyed or ceased to function, according to a new report.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its report Wednesday that at least 35 percent of the 743 medical facilities in the state are completely destroyed.

It says of the surviving facilities, 31 percent are not functioning, mostly due to a lack of access because of insecurity. Other health centers are damaged or have no access to uncontaminated water.

These numbers, officials said, come from the first report after WHO and Borno State Ministry of Health set up a system to gather information about the state of health services in the state.

Wondi Alemu, WHO representative in Nigeria, said the organization’s top priority is to save lives and prevent sickness among the almost six million people who are in need of health assistance.

“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,” Alemu said.

The report says about 100 temporary health facilities have been set up in Borno to try to meet people’s healthcare needs, including 49 emergency clinics for displaced people living in camps.

Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks recently, after a months-long pause in their seven-year uprising that has killed more than 20,000 people. The conflict has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

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