Epidemic looms, as IDPs lack anti-biotics, anti-malaria drugs

as Doctors’ Time-Out launch deworming programme

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu

OHOGUA—THERE is fear of  an epidemic outbreak at the Internally-Displaced Persons, IDP, camp run by the International Christian Centre for Missions, ICCM, for victims of Boko Haram insurgents at Ohogua, Ovia North-East Local Government Area, Edo State, following severe shortage of essential drugs, sanitary pads, food and other necessary items.

NDV learned that authorities of the camp now sell available food items to buy drugs for the sick inmates with the hope that more food items would come later,  rather than allow inhabitants to remain sick without drugs.

Edo State government had, in past four years, assisted in the building schools, provision of shelter and food for the 4,000 inmates, but when NDV visited the facility last week, the situation was clearly unusual, as a feverish IDP, Dairus, said there was no drug to treat him.

Troubled, the Administrator of the camp, Pastor Folorunsho Solomon, disclosed that selling some foodstuff was the only option available to him at the moment.

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His words: “One night, we had to go and look for N400,000 to get malaria drugs; we had to sell part of what has been donated to us to buy drugs for our inmates.”

SOS to FG, Edo govt

He added: ”We appreciate the Edo State government and we have been praying for it to succeed and continue the good work Governor Obaseki is doing in the state. However, as he is developing the state, we want to bring to say our camp is part of this state.

“A lot of our inmates have got admission, some are studying medicine, law, different courses in several universities in the state, including the state-owned university and the cost is enormous for us to bear alone.

”This year alone, we have more than 100, who scored above JAMB cut-off mark and a lot of them will go for post-UME examination. So I am appealing to them to come and help these children. I believe if those who want to go to school get education, it will help them and ultimately the communities they come from.”

He asserted: “We are also appealing to the Federal Government to support us. It should also give scholarship to the children so that those who want to go to school will be able to go.

“I know there are enormous challenges bedevilling the country and we thank the Federal Government for what it is doing to curtail the insurgents; we pray for more success in this regard.”

Doctors Time-Out intervenes

Some groups, in the midst of the challenges, have continued to support the displaced persons. Among them is a non-governmental organisation, Doctors Time-Out, which visited few days ago to deworm the occupants, provide other medical assistance and take over the training of eight students from primary and secondary school.

President of Doctors Time-Out, Dr Osezua Oamen, told journalists: “What made us to come here to mark our fourth year anniversary is because of the unpalatable situation here. Most of the children here are orphans and others do not know where their parents are. So the situation is quite disheartening.

“Being doctors, we are humanists. This is one charity we do and it is called Doctors’ Time-Out. That is, you take time out of your busy schedule to sit with your friends and relax. But while doing that, you think of how you can better your society.

“In this place, they need all the help they can get. So we did a need assessment and, in our little way, we picked eight persons: four in the primary school and four in the secondary school. They are made up of two boys and two girls from each level, and decided to take care of their schooling from now on.

“Education here is free, but we want to be responsible for their books, uniform, sandals and other needs, and we hope to take them to the their tertiary education so that they can realise whatever potentials they have.”

15 bags of rice, per meal…

Responding on behalf of the management, Pastor Evelyn Onigie lauded the initiative of the doctors, but appealed for more support from the public.

She said: “Thank God for the deworming these doctors are doing. As we speak, we do not have anti-malaria drugs or antibiotics. You can see many young girls here. So, we need sanitary pads, and we need soap for bathing, disinfectants.

“Everything that is good for people out there is needed here. We appeal to people, individuals, NGOs, churches to help us.

“We have more than 4,000 inmates here and feeding is a big deal. For a meal, we cook 15 bags of rice. If we are to make eba, we use 10 bags of garri (50kg each); it has been really enormous.”

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