Northeast Nigeria Humanitarian Response: Monthly Health Sector Bulletin #3, March 2020

5.6 Million People in need of health care

4.4 Million targeted by the Health Sector

1.9 Million IDPs in the three States

x.x million people reached in 2020


• For countries already facing a humanitarian crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak will likely be much more difficult to control and potentially further exacerbate tensions. This includes countries currently affected by conflict, the desert locust outbreak, drought, economic or political crises. An additional layer of COVID-19 impacts will add to the challenges that those areas are already facing and is likely to further increase the number of vulnerable people. Due to access constraints and the limitations of the health sector capacity, it could have the potential to spread more rapidly in hotspots and fragile settings and have more severe impacts that will be difficult to diagnose and contain.

• While there are no reports of confirmed cases in the northeast region yet, efforts to contain the virus have commenced with all three states issuing directives restricting movement in and out of their respective states. Unless the virus is completely eradicated within this time period – which is highly unlikely – the threat of a spread persists and can be higher for populations in the BAY states. In the event of an outbreak, the virus will be met with a fractured healthcare system that struggles to deal with a variety of known diseases like malaria, cholera, measles etc.

• Before the emergence of COVID-19, 35 percent of health facilities in the affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe were damaged as a result of conflict. There have also been significant disruption of vaccination campaigns and other essential health services for children and other vulnerable groups in inaccessible areas. In addition, funding has been a major challenge. In 2019, the health sector received only 25 percent of its funding requirements.

• Implications of an outbreak in IDP camps many of the prescribed global preventative measures will be difficult to implement given the conditions of where Nigeria’s most vulnerable populations reside especially population living in inaccessible areas without any humanitarian support.

• Health sector emphasizes on the protection, dignity and promotion of the rights of Women and Girls. The existing protection and gender inequalities could be further compounded, and the risk of Gender based violence, sexual exploitation and domestic violence will increase due to house confinements. Provision of sexual, reproductive health (SRH) care, family planning and other SRH commodities, including menstrual health items, are central to women’s health, empowerment, and development and is already impacted supply chain due to ongoing conflict could further undergo strains from COVID 19 pandemic response.

Source: World Health Organization