Milestones :: Perspectives
WHO Special Intervention Teams Vaccinate Nearly 400,000 children at transit points – Nigeria
08 February 2018
…Presently, WHO has engaged 400 Special Intervention Teams in Borno state who operate quasi-fixed vaccination posts at transit points, motor parks, markets and along nomadic grazing routes, host communities and internally displaced people (IDP) camps. Their job is to intercept, assess, profile and vaccinate all children on transit with the appropriate vaccines including polio, measles and yellow fever.
In 2017, more than 2.4 million doses of oral polio vaccines were administered to eligible children and nearly 400 000 children profiled by the Special Interventions Teams, including 18 000 children from Marte and Abadam,” said Dr Mohammed Tahir Bolori, WHO focal person for internally displaced persons in Borno.
Out of the nearly 400,000 children, the teams tracked and profiled by the team , more than 375,000 were from populations trapped in inaccessible and partially accessible wards and settlements with no healthcare facilities, while another 21,664 children reached at transit points came from neighboring countries and other States in Nigeria.
Violence in the north-east Nigeria has caused widespread devastation, that affects the health of more than 6.9 million people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States with massive displacements of people. There are 1.7 million IDPs in the three states and more than 200,000 refugees from Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
In Borno state, two-thirds of health facilities in the conflict-affected areas have been completely or partially damaged leaving them incapable of providing urgently needed healthcare services. According to WHO’s latest Health Resources Availability Monitoring System report (known as HeRAMS), one- third of more than 700 health facilities in the state have been completely destroyed. Millions of people are unable to access even the most basic services such as vaccinations, treatment for minor ailments including malaria, diarrhea, and upper respiratory tract infections.
The “Special Intervention Teams” are helping to fill the gap in healthcare due to the humanitarian crisis by providing children who are often extremely vulnerable protection from some of childhood’s most virulent diseases…