By Vincess Okushi

Following the end-term joint operational review of the health emergency programs in the northeast, the World Health Organization (WHO) has restated its commitment to continually provide leadership and coordination support to the government in reaching the underserved and vulnerable populations with essential health services in the country.

This commitment was announced by the WHO Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo at the recently concluded 13th Joint Operational Review (JOR) held in Yola, Adamawa State, from 27 to 29 November 2023.

Dr. Mulombo while debunking an alleged decry of an increasing rate of Tuberculosis cases in Borno state as reported in national dailies, during an interview with the media shortly after the 13th Joint Operational Review (JOR) in Yola stressed that the program has assisted in identifying opportunities and assessing the impact of WHO’s work in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states.

According to him, the primary objective of the JOR is to identify and document the best practices, gaps, challenges, and lessons learned during the 2023 response to humanitarian emergencies in the BAY states while developing operational strategies for 2024, in line with the health challenges in the region.

Everyone is entitled to have access to basic health services, and the WHO is committed to providing, promoting, and protecting health, including to the underserved affected by humanitarian crises. WHO will be working closely with the Borno state government to enhance the detection and treatment rate of tuberculosis in the state, said Dr Mulombo

In her remarks, the Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, represented by Anthonia Chukwuemeka, commended WHO for championing health for all agenda and pushing for Nigeria to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

that the JOR will enhance the humanitarian response in the BAY states to reach the underserved populations with essential health services

The 2023 humanitarian response plan, had it that approximately 5,757,483 people in the region requiring health interventions, as the health sector targets a total of 4,285,848 persons with 621,939 persons in IDP camps, 837,285 out of camps, 1,485,066 returnees, and 1,341,558 persons living in host communities, with life-saving health services.

However, the JOR program is to support the BAY states to respond to the protracted humanitarian crisis which has negatively impacted public health, putting intense pressure on healthcare services in the affected communities.

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