The state of health of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Edo is one that requires emergency intervention by the state government and all necessary agencies responsible for the care of IDPs in the country.
The existing situation can be described as a close shave with death which we needs to be prevented immediately without further delay. The statement credited to the Coordinator of the IDP camp at the International Christian Centre at Uhogua in Edo, Pastor Solomon Folorunso is one that calls for concern from all well-meaning Nigerians.
The coordinator disclosed that there were about 3000 displaced persons at the camp and between 10-15 bags of rice are cooked per meal to feed them. Solomon, who made this known while receiving a donation from a social group the Aviary Club at the camp, added that the IDPs are in dire need of anti-malaria and antibiotic drugs.
It will be risky to place this in the hands of the Government alone going by its continuous snail speed approach to issues concerning the poor state of IDPs in the country.
Several times on this Blog, we have called on the government to intervene in the poor situation of the country’s IDP camps. The poor state of health and sanitary facilities has contributed to several epidemics that have claimed the lives of some of these IDPs. The government has not helped matters by its shoddy and secretive way of handling the IDPs.
At the moment, Nigerians have no idea which ministry or agency is responsible for the care of these camps spread across the country. The survival of the majority of the IDPs has depended solely on NGOs and other humanitarian groups. The influence of the Victim Support Fund (VSF) and the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) has not been felt, in fact, their activities are not reported in the media which means the two intervention bodies may be in a comatose state.
Malaria is one of the killer diseases in Nigeria and the spread will result in serious casualties at the IDP camps due to the population and the poor state of living. The Federal Ministry of Health and the two intervention bodies responsible for the care of IDPs are advised to respond adequately to the non-availability of anti-malaria and antibiotic drugs at the Uhogua IDP camp. A stitch in time saves nine.