Abuja, February 22: To reach into the remote areas of Nigeria World Health Organisation WHO has set up mobile clinics which are assisted by the medical teams. The teams are named as ‘hard-to-reach’ teams HTR because they aim to reach remote areas to provide urgently needed care to the people.The continuous 8 years of conflict in Nigeria have deprived millions of people from their basic of health care services. It has led to widespread forced displacement and acute food nutrition insecurity. Large areas of Borno state, the most-affected state, remain inaccessible to humanitarian assistance. Millions of children are affected due to malnutrition and infants rally need to get instant health assistance. Screening for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is one of the key activities of the HTR teams. Malnourished children are severely affected by diseases like measles, diphtheria, diarrhoea, malaria.
Mobile clinic teams are setup under the shades of the trees. As clinics and other hospital facilities is partially damaged or difficult to access. Due to ongoing insecurity it is becoming hard for the teams to reach to those in need in remote areas. HTR medical teams are bringing basic health-care services to remote communities and to populations displaced by conflict. Ongoing insecurity means the teams are often based in towns that can only be reached by helicopter. From these bases, they deploy on a daily basis to surrounding areas, setting up clinics under trees to provide life-saving health care. In a small village, a crowd of women and children wait patiently in the midday sun to be treated by one of the 24 HTR teams.
Children and babies identified with SAM are referred to government- and partner-run facilities, where they can receive therapeutic feeding. Three-month-old Abubakar is the youngest of Zainab’s 7 children and is having breathing difficulties. But Zainab has a fever too. The health worker tests her for malaria.
The teams dispense medicines to treat malaria and minor ailments, as well as vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets for children. The teams also carry out health promotion activities, teaching communities about important practices, such as hygiene and exclusive breastfeeding. he 24 HTR teams give consultations to approximately 4000 people every week.