Médecins Sans Frontières To Start Inpatient Services For Children Suffering Acute Malnutrition In Bauchi

From Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders has supported the health authorities in Bauchi state in Nigeria to start an inpatient treatment centre for the children suffering from malnutrition.

According to a Press release issued by
Francis Dorbor, MSF Project Coordinator in Bauchi, Nigeria which was made available to newsmen yesterday, “The new project by MSF includes a 55-bed inpatient therapeutic feeding centre (ITFC) for the treatment of severely malnourished children with complications in Ganjuwa Local Government Area (LGA)”.

During the assessment, a total of 6,667 children were screened for malnutrition by the MSF teams. Of these, 14.8 per cent were malnourished and in need of medical care indicating high needs of nutritional services in the area.

“A limited access to primary healthcare services especially nutritional care for children is a major health concern in Bauchi. We are pleased to extend our support to the health authorities to begin the nutritional services that is one of the key needs in the area pointed out by our screening results. We are also aware that the peak of hunger period is arriving, and the situation may get worse,” says Francis Dorbor, MSF Project Coordinator in Bauchi, Nigeria.

According to the Project Coordinator, “We are also working on starting paediatric services for children under 15 years, especially treatment of malaria, cholera and other seasonal diseases.”

“Bauchi experienced a big cholera outbreak last year with 19,519 cases recorded across the state. Of these, MSF provided treatment to 11,189 patients in two Cholera Treatment Centres (CTCs) in Bauchi town and Toro LGA. In addition, we also set up 19 oral rehydration points across the state”.

“MSF team also responded to the more recent Lassa fever outbreak in the state where 95 cases were recorded with 10 deaths. Out of these confirmed cases, 26 were healthcare workers that got infected while providing care to the patients. Following the increasing cases of Lassa fever in Bauchi state and the high number of infected healthcare workers, MSF provided its support at the isolation centre of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital from March to May 2022.

He added that “Our teams supported the health authorities to treat 74 patients and provided training to the Ministry of Health (MoH) staff on treatment and prevention of Lassa fever. In Bauchi, MSF recruited community health workers that goes into the community to enlighten the people on causes of disease and the preventive measures they could take to avoid or curb the spread of diseases.

The Project Coordinator explained that “With the start of the new project in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of the state, we shall be available and prepared to support the health authorities in responding to any disease outbreaks or emergencies. In addition, we will also continue to support the local teams in terms of capacity building.

“For example, that there was a need to train and inform the medical staff on infection prevention and control,” says Dorbor. “MSF in Bauchi will also be working in collaboration with Nigeria’s national programme on Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV by identifying and referring children suffering from the diseases to the national programme for treatment”.

In the context of Bauchi, it is critical to take necessary preventive measure to stop and curtail the yearly outbreak of the disease.

“My sickness started with high fever, headache with vomiting. It reached to a point that the hospital I was in could not manage it anymore, so I was transferred to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital. People need to go to the hospital whenever they are not feeling well in these cases.” says 36 year old Fatima Yakubu, who was treated of Lassa fever by MSF at the Teaching hospital in Bauchi.

“Having Lassa fever is not a death sentence as it is curable. If you stay at home without going to the hospital, you will not get cured, so it’s better you visit the hospital”.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare.

MSF first started working in Nigeria in 1996, and currently provides healthcare services in 11 states across the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

scroll to top