COVID-19: ICRC Installs Triage Tent at Maiduguri Hospital
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continues to respond to the humanitarian needs of the ongoing armed conflict and other situations of violence, while adapting its activities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
In its latest bulletin, the ICRC disclosed that it joined the efforts of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), the authorities and other humanitarian actors to curb the spread of the virus.
ICRC surgical team in Maiduguri continued to treat Weapon-wounded patients with additional measures put in place to identify potential COVID-19 cases and minimize the risk of the spread of the infection.
The ICRC also installed a triage tent at the entrance of the Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital and increased the space between the beds at its surgical ward to ensure sufficient physical distance between the patients.
ICRC supported Borno State health authorities in setting up the isolation center for treatment of COVID-19 patients at Maiduguri General Hospital.
Women and young children from violence affected areas continue to represent the vast majority of the patients at the 18 primary healthcare facilities supported by ICRC with human resource incentives, drug supplies and prevention innitiatives.
Internally displaced people and local communities have received accurate information on COVID-19 via radio programs, posters and social media content developed with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) in Shuwa Arab, Kanuri, Hausa and English.
The ICRC continues to improve access to shelters, hygiene facilities and clean water for displaced people. Improving living conditions and ensuring proper hygiene and access to clean water is one of the key strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. NRCS volunteers have been spreading the information on COVID-19 using public speakers in 37 IDP camps with ICRC support. Over 12,500 households in IDP camps received soaps.
The ICRC continues to support livelihoods for the most vulnerable communities through cash grants, seeds and tools distributions, at the time when these communities suffer the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Detainees received hygiene items from the ICRC. Furthermore, the detaining authorities have been supported by the ICRC to enhance preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, with guidelines and best practices, notably on medical screening procedures, training of detention health staff and delivery of handwashing stands and information posters.
Following 10 written and numerous oral demarches towards political authorities, armed and security forces as well as aviation authorities, the ICRC could get exemptions from the restriction of movement put in place by the Nigerian authorities at federal and State levels. The exemptions granted to ICRC vehicles, ICRC aircraft, as well as its helicopter located in the North-East, are crucial to move teams and goods and pursue essential humanitarian activities.
Various tools were developed to support the Nigerian authorities preparing for – and responding to – the COVID-19 outbreak. In particular, general guidelines on preparedness and response to COVlD-19 in places of detention – providing practical information on measures to be taken by detaining authorities – were sent to the Nigerian Army, Police as well as Correctional Service. In addition, as restrictive measures are enforced by the authorities (such as lockdowns and State border closure) general guidelines were sent to the Nigerian Army and Police to remind them of their obligation to comply with relevant international rules and standards. A short video presentation was filmed to sensitize the Nigeria Police Force on the necessity of enforcing the COVID-19 related restrictions using non-violent means first and avoiding excessive use of force.