By Luminous Jannamike

abuja—THE Feder-al Government has ordered medical screening of Nigerian returnees from Libya, as part of efforts to prepare them for reuniting with their families and the larger society.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, issued the directive  while visiting the 487 Nigerian returnees which were the second batch from Libya at the camp set-up for their reception in Port-Harcourt,  Rivers State.

Libyan returnees being attended to by officials at the Hajj Camp in Port Harcourt . Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

Adewole told the medical team earlier sent from the Ministry to strengthen the health response at the camp to also ensure that the number screened tallies with the expected number as contained in the manifest provided by National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

In a statement issued, yesterday, by Boade Akinola, the Ministry’s Director, Media and Public Relations,  the Minister was quoted as also saying “the medical screening is an on-going process of rehabilitation and reintegration of the returnees into the societies. This will rebuild hope and confidence in them as they get settled to start life afresh. The medical team at the camp needs a mobile X-tray machine and ICT unit to ensure proper and thorough screening and documentation.

“This is the only way to achieve a comprehensive medical screening and also decongest the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, as some medical cases could be handled at the camp thereby reducing the number of the referrals to the Teaching hospital”.

Prof. Adewole also directed that, “a counselling unit must be set up to provide psycho-social services, in that, quite a number of them must have been traumatized by the unwholesome experience they suffered while in libya.”

Meanwhile, the representative of the acting Chief Medical Director (CMD) UPTH, Dr. Ucheli Emmanuel, said the screening and medical review of the returnees were to safeguard Public health and to avoid an outbreak of any unforeseen epidemic in the country.

He revealed that some of the returnee’s medical challenges as diagnosed by the medical team were common infections, trauma, septic abortions, seizures and psychotic problems; following these diagnoses 10 has been hospitalised.

 

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