The Country representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Walter Kazadi Mulombo has said the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded Grade 3 health emergency operations in the Northeast.
Mulombo said this in Maiduguri, Borno State, while reviewing the 9th Joint Operations of WHO health emergency response programme.
He said: “The operational environment in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe popularly called (BAY) states, is characterised by rising insecurity, driving waves of new displacements, deepening food insecurity and malnutrition.
The situation is said to be compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and which makes it important for WHO to maintain the Grade 3 health emergency to sustain its current level of operations in the region.
He explained that the Joint Operations Review of UN health emergency operations has resolved to maintain grading of the humanitarian health emergency declared in 2016. The outbreak of Covid19 pandemic has significantly reduced access to basic health services, while rendering the population vulnerable to disease outbreaks, malnutrition, injuries and mental health among the victims living in camps and host communities.
WHO said the capacity of state governments and supporting partners to mitigate the risks or respond to the health emergencies has been affected by recent reduction in national and foreign assistance funding.
WHO’s health emergency expert, Jorge Castilla, explained that the protracted nature of the crisis in the Northeast and continued attacks on healthcare facilities and workers have continued to decrease access to healthcare delivery services.