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Medecins San Frontiers facilities further overstressed with patients – Dr. Tirima, Nigeria Country Representative

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Dr. Simba Tirima, second from left, moderated the panel discussion

By Anthony Maliki, Abuja

The 2023 report of operations of Medecins San Frontiers (MSF) in Nigeria indicate that their facilities are being overstressed with patients.

In the report, MSF teams responded to the largest global diphtheria outbreak ever recorded, which began in Kano and spread across the country with 14,832 patients treated.

In the summary of the report presented in Abuja on Tuesday by MSF Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Simba Tirima, at a press cafe, the organization also responded to measles outback in Maiduguri treating almost 10,000 patients in Gwange Paediatric Hospital and Nilefa Kiji Nutrition Hospital.

Giving an overview of the 2023 activities, Dr. Tirima pointed out that there were 689,979 outpatient consultations with 80,089 inpatient admissions.

Operating in eleven states in Nigeria, the Country Representative noted that 125,366 antenatal consultations were carried out in 2023.

Besides, dwelling on the first quarter report for 2024, Dr. Tirima expressed concern that it presented an even grimmer picture.

He said figures have already doubled and facilities beginning to overstretch especially in nutrition cases.

The panelists, from left: Dr. Abdulwahab Mohamed, Medical Coordinator, Dr. Simba Tirima, MSF Country Representative, Usman Buba Usman, Head of Mission Advisor and Karsten Noko- Head of Mission

“In recent weeks, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) inpatient facilities in northern Nigeria have recorded an extraordinary increase in admissions of severely malnourished children with life-threatening complications, exceeding last year’s figures by over 100 per cent in some locations,” he said.

He stressed that for MSF teams, it is an alarming indication of a premature peak of the lean season and the increase
in acute malnutrition that accompanies it, typically anticipated in July.

Dr. Tirima said MSF medics are resorting to treating patients on mattresses on the floor because facilities are full.

He explained that children are dying and if immediate action is not taken, more lives hang in the balance.

Dr. Deogracia Kabila-Medical Coordinator explains a point on Noma disease to the media

“Everyone needs to step in to save lives and allow the children of northern Nigeria to grow free from malnutrition and its disastrous long-term, if not fatal, consequences,” Dr. Tirima.

The presentation featured a panel discussion with senior MSF Staff, question and answer with journalists and networking/meeting between journalists and senior MSF experts.

Among the panelists were Dr. Abdulwahab Mohamed-Medical Coordinator, Karsten Noko- Head of Mission, Usman Buba Usman- Head of Mission Advisor and Dr. Deogracia Kabila-Medical Coordinator. It was moderated by Dr. Tirima.

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