The Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has provided 85, 492 children under
15 with seasonal malaria chemo-prevention (SMC) in five Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps of Borno state.
Each year, there are spikes of malaria during the rainy season in IDP
camps of Bama, Dikwa, Rann, Pulka and Ngala.
The Doctors without Borders, attributed malaria to a combination of
limited or non-functioning health infrastructure, inadequate
preventive measures and obstacles in reaching healthcare providers.
MSF’s Borno field communication officer, Abdulkareem Yakubu, disclosed
this Friday in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He said the poor state of health facilities in camps and host
communities; have created a situation where malaria-related deaths are
all but inevitable.
“The over decade long conflict between the Nigerian military and armed
opposition groups have compounded the challenges people face in
accessing healthcare,” he said, lamenting that there are vast swathes
of population displaced, and millions of lives disrupted.
He said in Bama alone, MSF’s malaria response included SMC for about
12,054 children, over four rounds of treatment, and more than 1,000
inpatient admissions for the treatment of severe malaria.
He said this year; MSF ran SMC and malaria treatment activities in the
five affected IDP camps, as well as treatment for severe malaria and
malaria with complications in Maiduguri metropolis.
According to him, despite predictable spikes in malaria over 270,000
cases of uncomplicated malaria were recorded across the state in 2019.
“The costs of the public health system present an additional barrier
for many, who simply do not have the means to pay for medical
treatment,” he further lamented.
When Yagana Bukar brought her daughter to MSF’s malaria treatment
centre in Bama last November, she spoke about the challenges in
obtaining healthcare for her family:
“It’s not as if there are no other providers in Bama but MSF treats us
without us paying anything,” said Yagana, a mother of five children.
She said in other facilities, it is always paracetamol and a
prescription to buy the mostly out-of-stock drugs in the drugstore and
she don’t have the money.