By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of USD 903,000 towards World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Programme in the crisis-affected Northeastern region of Nigeria.
A statement from Ziyad Qamar Resource Mobilization & Partnerships Health Emergencies Programme of the World Health Organization in Nigeria says the contribution will benefit approximately 400,000 women, men and children through the provision of medicines and medical equipment.
Others include integrated basic primary health care services, establishment of effective referral mechanism for severally ill patients and strengthening of health sector coordination.
“This assistance is part of Japan’s new commitment of a grant aid of USD 53,630,350 for ‘non-military’ assistance for the North East Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, pledged on 23/24 February 2017 at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Northeast Nigeria and Lake Chad Region in response to one of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis,” the statement explained.
The statement which was issued in Kaduna acknowledged the timely contribution from the Government of Japan.
Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, World Health Organization, WHO, Country Representative in Nigeria emphasized the need for continued support from the donor community to ensure access to health services and to avoid the outbreak of diseases in a volatile context such as the North East region.
“The on-going conflict in north-eastern part of the country and neighbouring regions of Cameroon, Chad and Niger has left over 10 million people displaced by 2017 with 1.7 million being internally displaced in Nigeria, and approximately 155,000 Nigerians as refugees.
“The conflict has also resulted in massive destruction of basic infrastructure, health and educational facilities, commercial buildings, private houses and agricultural assets,” it noted.
WHO declared the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria a Grade 3 emergency in August 2016 in accordance with standard Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) criteria.
The overall goal of WHO’s Emergency Programme is to reduce avoidable mortality and morbidity through provision of live saving essential health services.