By Ebi Kesiena
An official from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF has disclosed that the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine are affecting funding for public health emergencies and child health interventions in West and Central Africa.
Dr. Alexandre stated this on Thursday while Speaking in Lome, capital of Togo, on the sidelines of a media forum on public health emergencies, nutrition and child health in West and Central Africa
According to UNICEF head of Reproductive Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health for West and Central Africa Dr. Boon Alexandre, funds for health interventions to the region have reduced to about 50% due to the ongoing wars.
“Whenever there is a big issue like the Israel-Palestine crisis and Russia-Ukraine war, they gather all attention from the superpowers like the US, UK, China,” he said.
He explained that donor countries now channel most of their resources toward addressing the humanitarian situation in the war zones.
The UNICEF official said the current situation could deprive African nations of the much-needed resource to tackle high rate of malnutrition, death of newborn child, among other public health concern.
He urged governments in West and Central African nations to increase their health budget to bridge the shortfall by attracting funds from donor countries.
The three-day media forum is being attended by about 60 health journalists from 23 countries in West and Central Africa.