Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Malaria is currently ravaging the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Abagena in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue state housing about 34, 986 persons who were displaced from their ancestral homes by the herdsmen invasion since January 2018.
Daily Sun gathered from the Camp Commandant, James Iorkyaa that those mostly affected by the outbreak of malaria at the camp were children between the ages of zero to 15 years.
The Camp Commandant who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday while receiving donation of drugs and other relief materials from the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) said the camp which houses about 18, 000 children has also recorded five new births since the beginning of this year.
Donating the drugs and life materials at the camp on Wednesday, Dr. Orimolade Ayodele said MDCAN took the decision after conducting a needs assessment at the camp, and discovered that the IDPs were in dire need of drugs at the clinic.
Ayodele who is also from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital stated that the gesture was the Association’s way of giving back to the society by ensuring the control of outbreak of malaria at the camp and also to check further outbreak of other diseases.
Ayodele who is also Chairman, Committee for IDP Relief Material for Benue state, stated that the donation of drugs by MDCAN to the clinic at the camp became necessary especially with the rainy season just around the corner, which comes with other diseases.
“We have also discovered that government cannot do it alone, so we thought it wise to assist by meeting some of their essential needs, which included other relief materials.”
He enjoined community leaders and government at all levels to do everything in their power to check incidences that would take it’s citizens to IDP camps, insisting that it was achievable.
He pointed that if the IDPs were made to go back home, they would be able to contribute their quota to the development of the economy.
Also speaking, Dr. Nombur Isaac, MDCAN Chairman, Federal Medical Center (FMC), Makurdi commended the camp officials for keeping the camp reasonably clean, adding that the IDPs were also looking good, nutritionally and health wise.
In his remarks, the Camp Manager, James Iorkyaa thanked the Association for the donations particularly the drugs donated to the IDPs even as he revealed that children were most affected by the outbreak of malaria which has hit the camp.
Iorkyaa lamented that the remaining IDPs at the camps cannot return home, as a result of the security situation in the areas where they came from.
Items donated by MDCAN include drugs, rice, tooth paste, clothes, shoes, mats, bar soap, detergent as well as sanitary pads. Other items for children, which include biscuits and yogurt milk.