By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi
Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, at the Abagana IDP camp, Makurdi, the Benue State capital, have reported high cases of peptic ulcer, upper and lower respiratory tract infections among other diseases.
The manager of Abagana IDP camp., Mr. Iliagh Terhile, stated this while speaking to The Abuja Inquirer at the camp premises in Makurdi, last week.
Mr Terhile, who listed lack of food and water, hygiene, sanitation supplies as challenges in the camp, also said they have cases of infectious diseases like ring worm, scabies, diarrhea among others.
According him, the IDPs are mostly affected with malaria, skin infections such as round worm, scabies among children and adults as well as conjunctivitis saying there is shortage of antibiotics in the clinic.
“We also have lower and upper respiratory tract infections mostly in children. We have numerous cases of sexually transmitted infections, high cases of peptic ulcer, ameobiasis (diarrhea with blood or mucus), acute watery diarrhea as a results of poor sanitary hygiene among the IDPs.
“Our common challenge now is food supply. The population can’t even access farmlands neither can they produce their own food. So hunger is always their companion.
“Their major desire is to return to their ancestral homes to continue with their lives and this can only happen when their security is guaranteed,” he said.
The camp manager who stated that their lives are not secured called on the state and federal government to establish a police post close to the camp for security of their lives.
Terhile lamented that since the last attack on the camp community in which seven people were killed by suspected armed herdsmen, some months back, they can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed.
He recalled that after the incident, some of the IDPs fled the camp to other places but were forced to return to the camp as a result of hunger and lack of accommodation for them in town.
He said they have continued to live in fear hence the need to build a police post to enable police officers respond swiftly in case of any emergencies.
Asked if the camp would be closed soon, Mr Terhile said “If the IDPs must return, security measures must be put in place at their various communities. They also have to be helped with finance and seedlings you start life else, you have just succeeded in breeding criminals.
He also noted that the psychological wellbeing of the IDPs should be taken care of before they can be reintegrated into the society to avoid enmity and violence among them.