Friday, 8 May 2015

Disease Outbreak Dares Boko Haram IDP Rescue Camp at Abuja



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People displaced by Boko Haram insurgency resident in Abuja have been rescued from rising disease outbreaks in IDP camps throughout the federation with the intervention last week by the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) members.

The nurses and midwives took time off recently to provide medical services for the displaced persons in the Durumi camps within the Federal Capital Territory.
Abuja shelters about 25, 000 displaced persons [NEMA figures] in camps located in different places. Last month, some of the camps had been reported to have been infected by communicable diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, cough, typhoid and malaria as well as cold symptoms arising from exposure, the deteriorating sanitary conditions and the inability of relief workers to provide the camps with enough drugs and medical care.
Visitors to the camps located at Sabon Kuchigoro, Kuje, Durumi and Area One would easily notice that the facilities provided for the residents are over-stretched and over-crowded forcing many of the IDPs to defecate in the open space since the toilets are few and insufficient.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has offered assistance to the residents of the camps by providing them with soap, toiletries, disinfectants and other necessities to keep the cold out but there are arrangements for people to prevent disease outbreak are still insufficient.
When nurses and midwives arrived the camps, the sight that met them was debilitating and it forced them to offer free medical services to the IDPs to demonstrate what the Vice President of NANNM, Mrs. Margret Akinsola, called the humanitarian gestures as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Midwives, Nurses and Midwives.
Akinsola regretted the sheer neglect of the IDPs observing that: “They are not well fed; and they even lack access to basic healthcare services. We decided to come here to give them succour in areas of health. The purpose of this is for them to feel the impact of the midwives.”
It was a memorable day for the IDPs as hundreds of nurses and midwives attended to them offering free antenatal, postnatal and family planning services after which drugs and food items were presented to members of the camp.
One of the displaced persons, Aisha Muhammad from Gwoza in Borno State, who spoke on behalf of the IDPs in Durumi, thanked the midwives for bringing the medical services to them.
Before the visit of the nurses and midwives to the camps, another non-governmental agency, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had raised alarm over the neglect of IDPs and called on the Federal Government to urgently provide adequate health care services for children and women especially those impregnated by Boko Haram insurgents resident at the displaced persons camps.
In a statement issued by the group’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP stated that the call followed the recent disclosure that about 214 children and women rescued from the insurgents in North-East were pregnant and sick.
“Having survived the horrific crime of rape and sexual violence, these children and women should be spared further physical and mental torture by ensuring that they are urgently allowed access to all necessary medical treatment,” it said.
“Such medical treatment must be provided on a non-discriminatory basis. Under international law, all victims of conflict, including rape victims, must receive the best care as soon as possible.
“The children and women are therefore entitled as of right to enjoy access to good quality medical care, including sexual and reproductive health.”
SERAP said it was seriously concerned that the pregnant children and women continue to face adverse treatment or lack proper treatment and care.
According to the group, if urgent action is not taken, many of the women and children may spend the rest of their lives with full blown emotional problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
 

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