Because conflict in the region makes accessing Zabarmari challenging, MSF has set up a local team comprising 10 community health workers and a nurse. This team in Zabarmari is supervised by a mobile team based in Maiduguri to support local primary health care and refer children with severe cases of measles to the Gwange pediatric hospital.
Borno state has had repeated measles epidemics over the past decade. During the measles outbreak in 2019, eight local government areas of Borno state were affected and MSF provided care to 4,000 children in Gwange and Bama hospitals. Several factors contribute to the epidemic: routine vaccinations are not carried out in many locations because, according to health authorities, more than 60 percent of health centers in the region are closed or unable to function properly because of the conflict. The fighting has also forced the departure of some aid organizations that were providing health care in remote areas.
Kubura Mohammed, a mother of seven children from Zabarmari, came to the pediatric hospital with her four-year-old daughter, Kaltume Hafisu, who was diagnosed with measles.
“My daughter had been ill for six days before I brought her to the hospital,” she said. “The medical team were all around my daughter throughout our first night because her condition was really critical. Her treatment began from the moment she was admitted and this includes blood transfusion and the administration of intravenous fluids. I must add that about two weeks ago, one of my daughters was also treated for measles in this hospital. All of my seven children have had measles at different times.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).