Home NewsAfrica WHO ramps up response in East-Africa amid looming health crisis

WHO ramps up response in East-Africa amid looming health crisis

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday, reported that it would intensify its operations to the looming health crisis in eastern Africa amid acute food insecurity.

WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response, Ibrahima Soce Fall said the health risks in the region were increasing while access to healthcare was deteriorating.

Fall said in a statement in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya “the cost of inaction is high. While the clear priority is to prevent people from starving, we must simultaneously strengthen our health response to prevent disease and save lives.’’

According to Fall, WHO convened a two-day meeting in Nairobi to plan its response across the seven countries affected by the health emergency which will be coordinated by other UN agencies and partners.

The affected countries are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda.

The UN health agency said its setting up a hub in Nairobi, from where it would coordinate the response and organise the delivery of life-saving medical supplies to where they were needed most.

These supplies, it said, included medicines, vaccines, as well the medicines and equipment needed to treat children who are severely malnourished.

WHO said the eastern African region faced acute food insecurity, the worst in 40 years, caused by conflict, extreme weather events induced by climate change, rising international food and fuel prices and the impact of the pandemic.

The UN health agency said its emergency response was focused on ensuring affected populations can access essential health services, treating sick children with severe malnutrition, and preventing, detecting and responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

WHO said it was also working with ministries of health in the affected countries to set up robust disease surveillance systems to be able to quickly detect and respond to disease outbreaks.

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