World Health Organization (WHO) donates drugs and medical supplies, supports flood response in Anambra State
The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated emergency medical supplies to the government and people of Anambra State in response to the flood disaster that has severely affected over 600,000 persons in seven local government areas (LGAs).
In Nigeria, 35 states have been devastated by the flooding in 2022 and Anambra state, located in the Southeast region is one of the worse-hit areas.
As part of WHO’s emergency response to Anambra state, the organization supported the state government to set up health clinics and other emergency services to urgently confront the health consequences of the disaster.
The WHO State Coordinator (SC) , Dr Adamu Abdulnasir said during the handing-over of the medical consumables in Anambra that WHO is working with the State Ministry of Health (SMOH), to provide medical services and strengthen disease surveillance across six (6) affected LGAs to ensure timely intervention to any disease outbreak.
With the affected communities facing the risk of diseases outbreaks and other health emergencies associated with floods, the WHO donated items include – antimalarial adult tablets/dispersible/injections, Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDT) kits for malaria, assorted antibiotics, anti-hypertensives, anti-diabetics, analgesics, sanitary pads, syringes, intravenous sets, cartoons of noodles, buckets with taps for hand washing and intravenous fluids, chlorine for water treatment, disinfectants as well as health resource manuals and treatment guidelines
Dr Abdulnasir said the donations will ensure effective responses to the acute healthcare needs of people in the affected communities.
“The flood poses an increased risk for infectious disease outbreaks, including cholera, malaria, and typhoid fever. The Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits donated by WHO to the state will ensure speedy detection and response to such outbreaks.
Many houses and health facilities are submerged and taking a heavy toll on the psychological and mental health of the people. At least 675,953 people in 622 settlements across seven LGAs are affected, and 41,000 persons are sheltered in 14 internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, within the state,” he said.
Receiving the donated items, the wife of Anambra state Governor, Dr Nonye Soludo, accompanied by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike commended WHO for the timely donations and technical support to the state in response to the flooding.
Dr Soludo said WHO has always been a reliable partner and supporter in difficult times and the emergency medical supplies as well as essential medicine will be put to use immediately to alleviate the sufferings of people in various IDP camps dotted across the affected LGAs.
The medical supplies, kits and materials donated by WHO have been used to set up health clinics in the IDPs camps because of the disruption of routine health services.
Furthermore, the donated cholera RDT kits are part of the emergency preparedness response to intending cholera outbreak in the aftermath of the flood. WHO is also supporting the SMOH to improve the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), situation in the IDP camps, and has activated disease surveillance and early warning system to strengthen response capacities for epidemic-prone diseases across the entire state.
Additionally, WHO has built capacity of focal persons and volunteers on surveillance, early disease case detection and reporting.
Underscoring the gravity of the situation in the state, a high-level United Nations mission led by the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale, and officials from the WHO, United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) accompanied by other top state government officials including the Secretary to State Government, Professor Chukwudobelu, recently visited the affected communities and IDPs camps.
The visit by the RC was to undertake a first-hand assessment of the situation and discuss the response with government, partners and other stakeholders.
“The damage and losses are staggering to see and worst in a decade!”, said Mr Schmale.
Flooding has become a perennial environmental risk and challenge for people in Anambra State, especially those residing in coastal areas along the course of river Niger, from Anambra West in the north to Ogbaru in the South.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Nigeria.