Improving access to health care for Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria
A long-standing conflict between Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians erupted into civil war in 2016, causing an ongoing exodus of Cameroonians to flee across the border to Nigeria. As the violence continues, the increase of refugees along Nigerian border towns is challenging the existing health care system, whose health facilities are not designed for the needs of displaced populations. Consequently, these facilities are experiencing overstretched human resources and supply shortages and are inadequately prepared for potential disease outbreaks.
To assist health facilities that are struggling with the influx of Cameroonian refugees, FHI 360 is implementing the Integrated Health for Refugees and Vulnerable Populations in Nigeria project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The project works in the Etung and Boki local government areas of Cross River State to provide lifesaving, gender-sensitive, primary health care and increase the capacity of the facilities to manage and refer quality health services to the increasing population.
“We are honored to start a new program with the United States in Nigeria to bring lifesaving, integrated, health interventions to a region that has seen conflict and displacement for decades,” said Salma Anas-Kolo, FHI 360’s Country Director for Nigeria. “And, our continued collaboration with UNHCR will ultimately increase access to quality health care for refugees and the host communities in which they live.”
FHI 360’s work complements interventions supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and includes capacity building for health care workers, along with training on antenatal and postnatal care, sexual and reproductive health, survivor referrals, gender sensitivity and disability inclusion to refugees and host communities.
Photo credit: Grace Casty Odu