In response, a preventive malaria treatment program for children under five was launched by the Borno State government in collaboration with several humanitarian organizations, including MSF. In Rann, MSF trained 47 teams of community health workers and provided malaria treatment for 14,725 children in three days.
There is no access to inpatient hospital care in Rann. Humanitarian organizations can only reach the town by helicopters. During the dry season some residents risk the insecure roads to access a hospital in a town over 15 miles away, but in the rainy season this is simply not possible. The general hospital in the town was destroyed in 2014 during the conflict and it is only now being renovated by the local authorities.
Many of the new arrivals in our Rann health facility report that continued insecurity and lack of food forces them to leave their villages to escape the ongoing conflict. As people continue to arrive in Rann and other towns across northeastern Nigeria, the need for better medical facilities, shelters, and sanitation facilities is urgent.
Rann has not been spared the violence. On January 17, 2017, the town was bombed by a Nigerian military plane, killing 90 people and injuring at least 150 others. Following the bombing, MSF provided medical care through mobile clinic teams who regularly visited the town. Since September 2017, MSF has had an ongoing presence in Rann.
In March 2018, MSF was forced to temporarily suspend activities in Rann following an attack on a military base. Three humanitarian aid workers from other organizations were killed in the attack. Today, there is a lack of health and sanitation services in Rann, and aid organizations that are present do not have permanent teams with experienced, senior staff, which hampers the effectiveness of the humanitarian response. The need for more humanitarian aid across northeastern Nigeria is apparent. Food, medical care, and sanitation services haveto be ensured so communities in Rann and other villages can live in safety and with dignity. The sheer number of people who lack these vital requirements shows that the humanitarian crisis is far from over in northeastern Nigeria.
In Rann, MSF provides outpatient care, including a therapeutic nutrition program. In northeastern Nigeria MSF is providing primary and secondary health care in eight locations across Borno State and in the capital of Yobe State, Damaturu. MSF teams run nutrition programs for malnourished children, provide mental health support, respond to disease outbreaks and provide emergency pediatric care, among other services.