National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Taraba State have visited the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Gullup to render free medical service to the victims of Boko Haram insurgency. PHILIP OKORODUDU (NYSC Jalingo) reports.
Pullup, a sleepy village on the fringe of Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, lost its serenity, because of the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgency. The village has a camp of Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs), where victims of insurgency have been facing challenges in accessing basic healthcare.
To complement the effort of the government in providing healthcare in the camp, the state directorate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) collaborated with Medical and Health Community Development Service (CDS) group to offer free medical treatment for the IDPs, last Monday.
NYSC Coordinator, Mr T.K. Freeman, kicked off the event. He was joined by the Zonal Inspector of the scheme in Jalingo, Mr J. Ukpalichi and Jalingo Local Government Area inspector, Mr Shehu Dogo, among others.
The beneficiaries are IDPs from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. The camp, which has hundreds of victims, was established last September as one of the three IDPs camps around the state capital.
The organisers said the free medical mission was informed by increasing unhygienic condition in these camps, noting that there was need protect children in the camps from possible outbreak of communicable diseases.
Freeman said the NYSC shared in the challenges of the displaced persons, assuring them that the body would not relent in mobilising Corps members to alleviate their plights.
As NYSC attended to the medical needs of the IDPs, Freeman said plans were underway to attend to the educational needs of the children in the camp. He said education of the children remained critical to the rehabilitation programmes of the government.
He urged Corps members in other CDS groups to emulate their counterparts in health CDS to lend support in solving the basic needs of the insurgency victims. Freeman hailed members of the health CDS group for the programme, describing it as life-changing.
President of the CDS group, Williams Adefila, a Medicine and Surgery graduate of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said the objective of the free health mission was to identify with the IDPs and alleviate their plight by providing palliatives to solve their healthcare needs.
He said the programme was divided into three phases. The first stage was the collection of bio-data and assessment of blood sugar level and blood pressure. The second stage had the Corps members running test on the IDPs to diagnose ailments, while the last stage involved proscription of drugs based on the ailment discovered.
Williams said those whose conditions warranted immediate medical attention were referred to specialist hospitals for treatment.
Some of the IDPs, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, shared various stories of their predicaments. Mr Nkeki Bakar, a native of Chibok in Borno State, said his family members spent more than 11 months in the bush after their house was destroyed by the insurgents.
Bakar, a father of five children, said life had become unbearable for him fair to him since he left Chibok with his family because of the insurgency. He said handouts for his survival and medical needs were being provided by Good Samaritans. He said Corps members occasionally brought food to them.
More heart-rending is the story of a 13-year-old Tabitha Musa, an orphan from Askira Local Government Area of Adamawa State, who fled her hometown with her uncle and two siblings. Going back to school, she said, has become difficult for her, because she cannot afford it. She was in Primary 6 before the crisis displaced her family.
The Secretary of the IDPs, Mr Emmanuel Bulus, a native of Gwoza village in Borno State, said the victims have been surviving on goodwill of the Gullup residents since the camp was established last year. He added that some members of the camp engaged in menial labour to fend for their family.
He called for government support and kind-hearted Nigerians to come to their aid, saying some IDPs’ health had deteriorated because of malnutrition and diseases.
A member of the CDS Group and a graduate of Nursing Science of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Tamuna-Belema Dikibo, listed the major health challenges facing the victims in the Gullup camp, saying they lacked personal and environmental hygiene. She said the Corps members advised the IDPs on family planning and need to maintain clean environment.
In his remark, Ukpalichi said rendering of selfless service to the IDPs was in line with the NYSC objectives. He thanked the officials of the camp for their cooperation.