Healing where harm is rife
In the northeast, the Middle Belt and the south of Nigeria, public healthcare services are inadequate to the task of providing routine family medicine such as pediatric care, reproductive health services and vaccinations. It’s little wonder that specialised support for people who face armed conflict and other situations of violence, poverty and displacement– from nutritional counselling and care for malnourished children to treatment for victims of sexual violence – are almost absent.
Working closely with the Nigerian Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides assistance and strengthens the resilience of people affected by armed conflict and violence in all these areas of the country. It will use part of our grant to donate tablet computers equipped with the Algorithm for the Management of Childhood Illnesses (ALMANACH app), which gives health workers clear treatment and prescription advice and enables health managers to predict disease outbreaks. Relying on standard point-of-care diagnostic tests and procedures, ALMANACH has proved very effective in ensuring good clinical outcomes for children and evidence-based use of antimalarial drugs and antibiotics. It can be enhanced by sensors such as electronic thermometers, automated respiratory rate calculators and oximeters.
With a focus on the same regions, the rest of our grant to ICRC will fund two areas of activity. The first is bolstering public healthcare facilities, for instance, by training staff in psychological first aid, clinical treatment for victims of sexual violence and therapeutic feeding programmes for children and pregnant or lactating mothers. The second is making mental health and psychosocial support available to victims of violence in Nigeria’s conflict-ridden northeast.
GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACT
The objective for ALMANACH is to expand its reach to around 220 health facilities, which will serve a total of about 409 000 children under 5. In 2020, the ICRC will continue to roll out the training and equipment to the remaining 136 health care centres in Adamawah state, provide infrastructural and management support, conduct a thorough scientific analysis and take all necessary steps to ensure a smooth handover to public health authorities at the end of 2021.
2021, the project’s final year, will be dedicated to ensuring the approach’s sustainability, handing over to local authorities and drawing conclusions, for instance, about possible replication of the project in other regions.
Access to Health and Income Opportunities
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