EU, UNICEF tackle maternal, newborn, nutrition outcomes in North East with N2.97bn
*Yobe doctors render free medical, healthcare services to liberated communities
The European Union (EU) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has budgeted €54 million (N2.97 billion) for “maternal, newborn, child healthcare and nutrition outcome” projects in three North-East states of Bauchi, Adamawa, Yobe; and Kebbi in North-West sub-regions.
The Country Representative of UNICEF, Mohammed Malick Fall, disclosed this on Monday in Bauchi, while officially handing over health equipment and medicine to the Bauchi state government.
He said that out of the €54 million (N2.97 billion), the EU has released €50 million through a grant; UNICEF contributed €1 million (N560 million), while the three benefiting states are to provide €1million as government counterpart funding.
He said the health project was hinged on “sectoral integration” that comprise health, water and sanitation/hygiene, nutrition, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), child protection, community development and social protection to improve living conditions of people in targeted states of Bauchi, Adamawa and Kebbi.
His words: “In Bauchi State, over 1.5 million children under the age of five and 38,000 pregnant women will be accessed to annually with health services out of the 2.6 million children under five years of age and 850,000 pregnant women targeted to be reached with health services annually in the three states of the Northeast.
“This project will also support the implementation of one Primary Health Care (PHC) per ward in the 323 wards of the 20 councils in Bauchi state through capacity building of health workers, community engagement. It will ensure community resilience, minor renovation of some primary health care centres, supply of equipment and medicines for maternal, newborn and child healthcare delivery services.”
Also, no less than 25 doctors from Yobe state offered free medical and healthcare services to returning residents of Buni/Yadi community, as Boko Haram insurgents destroyed its hospital and healthcare centres in 2014.
The mobilizations of doctors were made by three Non-Governmental Organizations, which include Mai Goje Foundation, Smile Mission and Edushine to implement the Saturday, Community Healthcare Outreach (CHOR) to returning displaced persons.
Dr. Mohammed Goje, Chairman of Foundation, who disclosed this on Monday at Buni/Yadi; said that the doctors came from various cities including Kano, Abuja, Lagos, Maiduguri and Damaturu, the state capital to provide healthcare services to returning displaced persons in liberated communities. His words: “The decision to mobilize the medical team to this community; was borne out of the fact that there is no single functional medical facility in the area; since the Boko Haram destruction of General Hospital, Buni-Yadi.”
He said that the free medical outreach; has targeted 300 residents for treatment but over 1,000 people with various ailments; however turnout for the “free medical and healthcare services.”
Dr. Saleh Abba, who led the medical team, said that specialists including gynecologists, pediatricians, dentists, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and others attended to patients, who had returned, after the community was liberated by the military in 2016.
His words: “We also carried out minor surgery operations, consultations and other services ably assisted by pharmacists, nurses and laboratory scientists.
“The outreach is offering the service for just one day which unfortunately is grossly inadequate considering the large number of patients in this town.”
Ali Usman, who benefited from the free medical outreach, urged the Federal and State Governments to provide the community with a temporary medical facility, before the destroyed hospital and other health centres are rebuilt.
“Two years after our return to this liberated Buni/Yadi community, we have no medical facility, as they were destroyed in the three-year insurgency. Some of our women died from avoidable circumstances in child birth because, we have to travel to Damaturu, to access hospital,” he lamented. He also appealed to the State Government to introduce temporary and mobile clinics to provide medical services to the returning displaced.
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