Many down with severe illness without medical attention
We’re unaware of situation in camp – Nasarawa official
By David Odama
THESE are indeed tough times for internally-displaced persons in Nasarawa State following reports of several severe challenges confronting them.
Apart from not having a comfortable place of abode, the unfortunate persons numbering over 12,000 in the state, now have to contend with hunger and starvation.
The problem is being blamed on the drastic reduction in the quantity of food being supplied to them, a situation that has spawned serious health challenges. Arewa Voice was able to confirm this during a visit to one of the camps in Keana Local Government Area of the state. It was indeed quite evident that food shortage and absence of basic medical facilities represent the major problems confronting the internally displaced persons.
Narrating their ordeals, John Tavershima, who acts as the ‘Secretary’ for the IDPs, told Arewa Voice that the IDPs were facing hard times due to shortage of food, relief materials and medical facilities. He stated that although the state government had sent some supplies to the camp, the palliatives were grossly inadequate to cater for the over 12,000 IDPs in the camp.
Tavershima even pointed to a critically-ill patient in the camp, whose name he gave as Thomas Iowundu, who, he said, needs urgent medical attention to save his life but has not received any help from any quarter over the months, a reason why his predicament continues to linger.
Summoning up courage and strength, Thomas managed to speak about his desperate condition and pleaded for help to rescue him from possible. “I’ve been very ill, coughing and vomiting blood unceasingly, with my chest pumping as if it is going to break out of me, especially at night,” Iowundu said.
“My mother and I were forced to relocate to the camp during the recent crisis that affected many Tiv communities this year in Doma, Keana and Obi local government areas of the state. My mother has been trying her best to see me recover from the illness, but there has been no money to go to the hospital for proper medical check and there is no proper medical attention here in the camp. I do not want to die in the IDP camp and that is why I am appealing to the Nasarawa State Government and other well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to come to my assistance because I am in severe pain at the moment,” he said.
On her part, the mother of Thomas, Mrs. Justina Iowundu, said she had ten children with Thomas as her fourth child, adding that as a widow, she has been overstretching herself to put food on the table for the family. That has been the case since the recent farmers/herders crisis struck and forced them to relocate from the community in Angwan Yara in Keana LGA to take refuge in the IDP camp. The widow, who said her son’s illness had rendered her financially handicapped, appealed for support to save the life of her son and others facing hardship in the camp.
In a swift reaction, the Executive Secretary of Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, Zakari Allumaga said the state government was not aware of the challenges in the IDPs and Thomas’ situation. He assured, however, that government would look into the issues raised by the management of the camp, adding that the state ministry of health would be adequately informed about the condition of Thomas for necessary medical attention.