Boko Haram: 12,000 Women Returnees Undergoing Reproductive Care | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Boko Haram: 12,000 Women Returnees Undergoing Reproductive Care

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 at 7:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Yinka Shokunbi, Lagos


The number of women and young girls traumatised by the Boko Haram insurgents are rising by the day with about 12,000 returnees already receiving various degrees of reproductive and psychosocial care in camps, Daily Independent can authoritatively revealed.

Aside these women, not less than 800 children are reported to be in dire need of medical care; albeit returnees are being looked after by different stakeholders spearheaded by the National Emergency Management Agency in the camps.

It would be recalled that Daily Independent had reported that some of the returnees tested positive and are at various stages of pregnancy and receiving antenatal care at the camps for internally displaced persons.

But as the needs of the internally displaced persons continue to be unveiled, foremost industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has reportedly donated the sum of N50million to support the care of all persons displaced by the insurgents in the Nolrth-east.

The donation it was learnt was made to the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health and is yet to be disbursed.

However, investigations by our Correspondent showed that the number of women and children could be more as there is yet to be a well-documented and comprehensive register of all returnees who are scattered in different undisclosed camps across the Northern part of the country.

As at press time, the distraught returnees especially the pregnant girls are kept away from the prying eyes of unauthorised persons; “more so, since there are speculations that they could be targets of more attacks which we are now witnessing”, the source disclosed to our Correspondent.

The reliable source also told Daily Independent that though statistics from foreign organisations especially the UN indicated that there are about 1.5m women in different camps but the federal government has a data of about 1.43m people out of which 493, 000 are children.

Our Correspondent also learnt that most of the depressed women are receiving medical attention from donors and volunteer bodies who are helping out in the camps and volunteers are asking for an increase in government’s involvement.

“This is because only the federal government can harness every resource that is being put into the services rendered by volunteers.

“Security of lives of the displaced persons and the volunteers is very crucial for instance and there are increasing fears that the insurgents may not be happy these women are being looked after and may try to attack the camps”, said another source to our Correspondent.

One of the key support for the children our Correspondent can reveal is from UNICEF which has continued to deploy community volunteers to help out with looking after the residence of the camps.

UNICEF, Daily Independent also gathered has been supplying recreational kits as well as educational materials for the children to facilitate their integration into the society especially since some of them were reportedly born in the Sambisa forest.

Aside UNICEF, other stakeholders include UNFPA which has been helping out with the mobilization of some nurses and midwives to provide care and also in the supply of dignity kits comprising of sanitary wears, clothing, soaps and buckets among others.

The agency has however refuted for the umpteenth time that it is not involved in giving the women abortion services as being speculated in various media.

Executive Director, Professor Babtunde Osotimehin, in a conversation with our Correspondent said, the agency is not helping any pregnant woman procure abortion for unwanted pregnancy but has been rendering service through providing kits which can be useful in taking care of complications arising from unsafe termination of unwanted pregnancies.