Destruction of health facilities by insurgents weakens sector in North East
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the “massive destruction of 788 health facilities in North East by Boko Haram insurgents has weakened health system in the region.”
In its 2017 yearly report made available to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday, the global agency noted that the development had left Borno State and the entire zone with inadequate health facilities and shortage of skilled manpower.
According to the UN organ, the eight years of insurgency had left the health sector prostrate in the zone.
The report reads in part: “As of June 2017, about 788 health facilities have been destroyed in the region.”
The WHO Senior Health Emergency Programme Officer, Jorge Castilla, in the document, noted: “It was really bad for a lot of people in the insurgency-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. It is a crisis of great severity and magnitude.”
The report stated: “Initial assessments revealed critical health problems, especially in 15 council areas hitherto inaccessible.
“Risks of disease outbreaks were imminent due to poor water and sanitation conditions, poor nutrition status, high population mobility and the disrupted health system.
“Currently, two local councils, Abadam and Marte, are still inaccessible to humanitarian responders.
“In new accessible areas, the urgent need for life-saving medicines and health services is even more imperative.”
According to Castilla, the dire situation was a pointer to the critical health conditions of those still in inaccessible locations, adding that the outbreaks of measles, cholera, malaria and Hepatitis E became common due to the disrupted health system.
However, the state police command has issued a 21-day ultimatum to illegal holders of arms to surrender them to the nearest posts.
Consistent with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the CP, Damian Chukwu, yesterday stated in Maiduguri that anyone in possession of firearms at the expiration of the grace period would be treated as a criminal and charged as such.
He said the recent abduction of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State was an eye opener that the Boko Haram insurgents were out to pounce on soft targets.
“We must brace up to our responsibilities so that it does not happen again. That was how 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted by insurgents on April 14, 2014,” he added.