Benue State IDP Camps Face Drug Shortages and Malnutrition Amid Humanitarian Crisis

Benue IDP camps face severe drug shortage and rising malnutrition, highlighting the urgent need for increased support to address this humanitarian crisis.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Benue State IDP Camps Face Drug Shortages and Malnutrition Amid Humanitarian Crisis

Benue State IDP Camps Face Drug Shortages and Malnutrition Amid Humanitarian Crisis

Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Benue State, Nigeria, are confronting a severe shortage of essential drugs and rising cases of malnutrition among children and infants. The dire situation was brought to light during an Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) visit conducted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Benue State Primary Healthcare Board.

Aondowase Kunde, the Commissioner for Humanitarian and Disaster Management, acknowledged the shortage of drugs for sick patients in the Ortese and Ichwa IDP camps located in Guma and Makurdi Local Government Areas, respectively. "The resources available are meager, and the government alone cannot provide the support the IDPs need," Kunde stated, emphasizing the need for collaboration with UNICEF and WHO to address the challenge without delay.

Over the past four months, more than 41,378 IDPs have accessed outpatient department (OPD) services in the camps, according to Wende, a government official. The state government has assured that it is working to tackle the drug shortage issue by synergizing with UNICEF and WHO. Efforts are also being made to address the growing concern of malnutrition among the displaced population.

Why this matters: The humanitarian crisis in Benue State highlights the urgent need for increased support and resources to ensure the well-being of vulnerable populations in IDP camps. Addressing the drug shortage and malnutrition issues is critical to prevent further deterioration of health conditions and potential loss of lives.

The gravity of the situation was underscored by the recent tragic death of Hembadoon Tarhemba, a 35-year-old lactating mother of under one-year-old twins, who was a resident of the Abagena IDP camp. Hembadoon collapsed and died while fetching firewood to prepare breakfast for her children, leaving behind her twins and four other children. The former woman leader of the camp, Esther Oota, appealed to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other organizations to come to the aid of the orphaned children, who are now struggling to survive.

The Benue State government, in collaboration with partners like UNICEF and WHO, is working to find solutions to the drug shortage problem. Beatrice Tsavbu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Human Services, assured that they will work with UNICEF and WHO to address the situation. UNICEF has been supporting the state through mobile medical outreach clinics, donations of medical supplies, and operational logistics support, benefiting over 41,378 persons and vaccinating more than 5,700 children against measles.

Key Takeaways

  • IDP camps in Benue, Nigeria face severe drug shortages and rising malnutrition.
  • Over 41,378 IDPs have accessed outpatient services in the past 4 months.
  • A lactating mother died while fetching firewood, leaving behind orphaned children.
  • Benue govt. is working with UNICEF, WHO to address drug shortages and malnutrition.
  • UNICEF has supported the state through medical outreach, supplies, and vaccinations.