Benjamin Babine, Abuja
Health workers affiliated with Public Service International (PSI) in partnership with the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) have on Tuesday visited displaced persons camps in Karamajiji, Abuja, to mark this year’s World Humanitarian Day.
The health workers in attendance were drawn from the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANM) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
Speaking during the the visit, the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Biobelemoye Josiah, described the plight of the IDPs as pathetic and called on government and relevant private organizations to come to their aid.
He said the PSI Nigeria Coordinating Council decided to use this year’s event to visit the Karamajiji camp and draw attention to the living conditions of IDPs.
He stressed that this year’s event is very important because of the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic and how it has worsened the situation of IDPs.
He called the attention of the government to the plight of IDPs and the health workers who are caring for those affected by the humanitarian crisis in the northeast. He stressed that the threat to health workers in the northeast is very glaring, citing instances where some health workers have been kidnapped or killed.
‘It is expected that on this day, everybody is expected to give a helping hand. Those that have should give to those who don’t have. For us at PSI, we decided to use this day to show solidarity with the IDPs here. After carrying our accessment, we discovered that this particular IDPs camp, people hard visit, so we made it our top priority. We have visited other IDPs in previous years.’
Biobelemoye went on to appeal to the Federal Government on behalf of health worker. He said: ‘I want to use this opportunity on this Humanitarian Day to make an humanitarian appeal to the government to wear a humanitarian face to attend to health worker’s plight, by not discriminating in the COVID-19 health allowance and by not withholding salaries of health workers.’
The MHWUN President went on to assure that the public service union especially those in the health sector will continue to do their best to support the down trodden and IDPs in various parts of the country.
Also speaking, the Principal Admin Officer, IDPs department at the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Nasir Mohammed Abubakar, said the Commission as an agency of government has carried out some intervention in order to provide medical and non medical care to the IDPs. He said most of the camp dwellers are from Gwoza in Borno state.
The World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on August 19 to celebrate aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.