Medical Needs At IDPs Remain Huge, Challenging -Obot, President, MWAN | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

LIFE, Slider

Medical Needs At IDPs Remain Huge, Challenging -Obot, President, MWAN

Posted: Aug 9, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

As President of the Nigerian Medical Women Association of Nigeria, (MWAN), Valerie Obot, Public Health Physician and dermatologist was elected to lead the association at a time the campaign for the release of the abducted Chibok girls became huge and the lot to prepare along with other organisations for the safe return of the girls fell on her shoulders.  Speaking with Health Editor, YINKA SHOKUNBI about the controversial abortion kit given to the returnees in the IDP Camps, Obot noted, “It is not true”. Excerpt:

Managing Director, DHL, Randy Buday, MD Twinings Ovaltine, Enrico Liggeri, Marketing Manager, Kemi Saliu and President MWAN, Valerie Obot during the handing over of some consignment of the beverage in Lagos:                   			 Photo: Yinka Shokunbi

Managing Director, DHL, Randy Buday, MD Twinings Ovaltine, Enrico Liggeri, Marketing Manager, Kemi Saliu and President MWAN, Valerie Obot during the handing over of some consignment of the beverage in Lagos: Photo: Yinka Shokunbi

Level of involvement in care of the internally displaced persons across the country:

For us, we have been partnering with other non-governmental organisations in order to ensure that when the abducted women and girls are released, they are offered the necessary healthcare.

In fact, Ipas, Nigeria actually sponsored members of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) on post-abortion care course and on other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS management so as to care for these women.

As we speak, our memebrs are involved in various camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) such as the ones in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States ensuring that all the girls that are released from the grip of their abductors (Boko Hara) are offered the necessary care. Also, in the south South, we are involved in Edo State where we offer medical and health care apart from trauma and psycho-counselling. At the Federal Capital Territory, FCT we have visited the camps to offer food and healthcare.

MWAN’s involvement in offering abortion to the alleged pregnant women and girls in various camps

I want to state categorically that every care that is offered to a woman or girl in the camps is based on their individual persons. We are not out there to terminate pregnancy against the wish of any woman or any young girl. It is patient- centred care that is being offered to each one out there.

In specific terms, the services we are offering to these women and young girls patient-centred and by this I mean, it depends on what each patient we see want.

First and foremost, we offer each individual person, counselling because they’ve all passed through trauma of various degrees, physically, emotionally and so on and we have had to counsel them in order to get them back into their society.

Secondly, we offer them some other medical care services in that as many of them we have, have been raped, severally raped; so we screen them for STDs including HIV and for those who tested positive to HIV we offer care and for some who had bruises or some other infections, we treat them and all of these are as per the individual need.

Are the content of Dignity Kits for the IDP women truly meant to aid abortion?

The kits that I have seen do not have drugs that could help the women procure abortion. We have requested also from the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) to give the Medical Women some of the kits to verify the rumour making the rounds especially as we would equally need these kits for some other places we work not necessarily at the IDPs and from the list we were given, there was no drugs that could make these girls procure self-abortion or even support them to get rid of unwanted pregnancies. It is not true that drugs for abortion are in the dignity kits given to the returnees.

Are there enough Medical Women on Ground to Support the camps’ medical Needs?

No. We must understand that our members are volunteering their services at the various camps. They are not always on ground because they too do need to go out on their consulting businesses and only during the week they make time to go to the various IDPs to do some duties. That was why Ipas’ support for MWAN in the area of capacity building assisted us to train nurses and some other para-medical volunteers in aspects that could ease the pains of the IDPs, such as in the area of psycho-socio counselling and therapy while our members only come in to do further evaluation where needed. The work at the various IDPS continue to mount by the day and it is really enormous, I must say and we do not have sufficient hands to go round all the people.

The volunteer doctors in each state where we have camps for internally displaced actually go out once a week to the camps in their locations and we for now, we do not have volunteers from other states offering assistance; so the challenge for doctors in the affected states remain huge.

There is also no financial back-up from elsewhere aside from our association because we have taken it upon ourselves to take care of the women and girls as part of our obligation to the society.